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First Indochina War

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First Indochina War
The First Indochina War (also known as the French Indochina War, Anti-French War, Franco-Vietnamese War, Franco-Vietminh War, Indochina War, Dirty War in France, and Anti-French Resistance War in contemporary Vietnam) was fought in French Indochina from December 19, 1946, until August 1, 1954, between the French Union's French Far East Expeditionary Corps, led by France and supported by Emperor Bảo Đại's Vietnamese National Army against the Việt Minh, led by Hồ Chí Minh and Võ Nguyên Giáp. Most of the fighting took place in Tonkin in Northern Vietnam, although the conflict engulfed the entire country and also extended into the neighboring French Indochina protectorates of Laos and Cambodia. Following the reoccupation of Indochina by the French following the end of World War II, the area having fallen to the Japanese, the Việt Minh launched a rebellion against the French authority governing the colonies of French Indochina. The first few years of the war involved a low-level rural insurgency against French authority. However, after the Chinese communists reached the Northern border of Vietnam in 1949, the conflict turned into a conventional war between two armies equipped with modern weapons supplied by the United States and the Soviet Union.[1] French Union forces included colonial troops from the whole former empire (Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Laotian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese ethnic minorities), French professional troops and units of the French Foreign Legion. The use of metropolitan recruits was forbidden by the governments to prevent the war from becoming even more unpopular at home. It was called the "dirty war" (la sale guerre) by supporters of the Left intellectuals in France (including Sartre) during the Henri Martin Affair in 1950.[2] [3] While the strategy of pushing the Việt Minh into attacking a well defended base in a remote part of the country at the end of their logistical trail was validated at the Battle of Na San, the lack of construction materials (especially concrete), tanks (because of lack of road access and difficulty in the jungle terrain), and air cover precluded an effective defense. After the war, the Geneva Conference on July 21, 1954, made a provisional division of Vietnam at the 17th parallel, with control of the north given to the Việt Minh as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam under Hồ Chí Minh, and the south becoming the State of Vietnam under Emperor Bảo Đại, in order to prevent Hồ Chí Minh from gaining control of the entire country.[4] A year later, Bảo Đại would be deposed by his prime minister, Ngô Đình Diệm, creating the Republic of Vietnam. Diem's refusal to enter into negotiations with North Vietnam about holding nationwide elections in 1956, as had been stipulated by the Geneva Conference, would eventually lead to war breaking out again in South Vietnam in 1959 – the Second Indochina War.

Background
Further information: Vietnam Expedition, French-Thai War, Second French Indochina Campaign, Empire of Vietnam, August Revolution, Vietnamese Famine of 1945, Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, French Far East Expeditionary Corps, and War in Vietnam (1945–1946) Vietnam was absorbed into French Indochina in stages between 1858 and 1887 with European influence and education. Nationalism grew until World War II provided a break in French control. Early Vietnamese resistance centered on the intellectual Phan Bội Châu. Chau looked to Japan, which had modernized and was one of the few Asian nations to resist European colonization. With Prince Cường Để, Châu started two organizations in Japan, the Duy Tân Hội (Modernistic Association) and Vietnam Cong Hien Hoi. Due to French pressure, Japan deported Phan Bội Châu to China. Witnessing Sun Yat-sen's 1911 nationalist revolution, Chau was inspired to commence the Việt Nam Quang Phục Hội movement in Guangzhou. From 1914 to 1917, he was imprisoned by Yuan Shi Kai's counterrevolutionary government. In 1925, he was captured by French agents in Shanghai and spirited to Vietnam. Due to his popularity, Châu was spared from execution and placed under house arrest until his death in 1940.

First Indochina War In September 1940, shortly after Phan Bội Châu's death, Japan launched the First French Indochina Campaign and invaded French Indochina, mirroring their ally Germany's conquest of metropolitan France. Keeping the French colonial administration, the Japanese ruled from behind the scenes in a parallel of Vichy France. As far as Vietnamese nationalists were concerned, this was a double-puppet government. Emperor Bảo Đại collaborated with the Japanese, just as he had with the French, ensuring his lifestyle could continue. From October 1940 to May 1941, during the French-Thai War, the Vichy French in Indochina were involved with defending their colony in a border conflict which saw the forces of Thailand invade, while the Japanese sat on the sidelines. Thai military successes were limited to the Cambodian border area, and in January 1941 Vichy France's modern naval forces soundly defeated the inferior Thai naval forces in the Battle of Koh Chang. The war ended in May, with the French agreeing to minor territorial revisions which restored formerly Thai areas to Thailand. In March 1945, Japan launched the Second French Indochina Campaign and ousted the Vichy French and formally installed Emperor Bảo Đại in the short-lived Empire of Vietnam. In August 1945, when Japanese forces surrendered in Vietnam, they allowed the Việt Minh and other nationalist groups to take over public buildings and weapons without resistance, which began the August Revolution. After their defeat the Japanese Army gave weapons to the Vietnamese. In order to further help the nationalists, the Japanese kept Vichy French officials and military officers imprisoned for a month after the surrender. The Việt Minh had recruited more than 600 Japanese soldiers and given them roles to train or command Vietnamese soldiers.[5] [6] Hồ Chí Minh claimed in a speech in September 1945 that due to a combination of ruthless Japanese exploitation and poor weather, a famine occurred in which approximately 2 million Vietnamese died. The Việt Minh arranged a relief effort in the north and won wide support there as a result. American President Franklin D. Roosevelt and General Joseph Stilwell privately made it adamantly clear that the French were not to reacquire French Indochina (modern day Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) after the war was over. Roosevelt offered Chiang Kai-shek to place all of Indochina under Chinese rule. Chiang Kai-shek supposedly replied: "Under no circumstances!".[7] After the war, 200,000 Chinese troops sent by Chiang Kai-shek under General Lu Han entered Indochina north of the 16th parallel to accept the surrender of Japanese occupying forces. They remained there until 1946.[8] The Chinese used the VNQDD, the Vietnamese branch of the Chinese Kuomintang, to increase their influence in Indochina and put pressure on their opponents.[9] In February 1946 the French forced the Chinese to leave Indochina but agreed to renounce French extraterritorial privileges in China itself. French troops then reoccupied the region starting in March 1946.[10] [11] [12] [13] Hồ Chí Minh was able to persuade Emperor Bảo Đại to abdicate on August 25, 1945. Bảo Đại was appointed "supreme adviser" to the new Vietminh-led government in Hanoi, which asserted independence on September 2. Deliberately borrowing from the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed on September 2: "We hold the truth that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."[14] With the fall of the short lived Japanese colony of the Empire of Vietnam, the Provisional Government of the French Republic wanted to restore its colonial rule in French Indochina as the final step of the Liberation of France. An armistice was signed between Japan and the United States on August 20. CEFEO Expeditionary Corps leader General Leclerc signed the armistice with Japan onboard the USS Missouri on behalf of France, on September 2. On September 13, a Franco-British task force landed in Java, main island of the Dutch East Indies (for which independence was being sought by Sukarno), and Saigon, capital of Cochinchina (southern part of French Indochina), both being occupied by the Japanese and ruled by Field Marshal Hisaichi Terauchi, Commander-in-Chief of Japan's Southern Expeditionary Army Group based in Saigon.[15] Allied troops in Saigon were an airborne detachment, two British companies of the 20th Hindi Division and the French 5th Colonial Infantry Regiment, with British General Sir Douglas Gracey as supreme commander. The latter proclaimed martial law on

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First Indochina War September 21. The following night the Franco-British troops took control of Saigon.[16] Almost immediately afterward, the Chinese Government, as agreed to at the Potsdam Conference, occupied French Indochina as far south as the 16th parallel in order to supervise the disarming and repatriation of the Japanese Army. This effectively ended Hồ Chí Minh's nominal government in Hanoi. General Leclerc arrived in Saigon on October 9, with him was French Colonel Massu's March Group (Groupement de marche). Leclerc's primary objectives were to restore public order in south Vietnam and to militarize Tonkin (north Vietnam). Secondary objectives were to wait for French backup in view to take back Chinese occupied Hanoi, then to negotiate with the Viet Minh officials.[16]

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Timeline
Campaign of 1946
Fighting broke out in Haiphong after a conflict of interest in import duty at the port between the Viet Minh government and the French. On November 23, 1946 the French fleet began a naval bombardment of the city that killed over 6,000 Vietnamese civilians in one afternoon according to one source[17] or over 2,000 according to another.[18] The Việt Minh quickly agreed to a cease-fire and left the cities. There was never any intention among the Vietnamese to give up, as General Vo Nguyen Giap soon brought up 30,000 men to attack the city. Although the French were outnumbered, their superior weaponry and naval support made any Việt Minh attack impossible. In December, hostilities also broke out in Hanoi between the Việt Minh and the French, and Hồ Chí Minh was forced to evacuate the capital in favor of remote mountain areas. Guerrilla warfare ensued, with the French controlling most of the country except far-flung areas.

Campaign of 1947
In 1947, General Võ Nguyên Giáp moved his command to Tân Trào. The French sent military expeditions to attack his bases, but Giáp refused to meet them head-on in battle. Wherever the French troops went, the Việt Minh disappeared. Late in the year the French launched Operation Lea to take out the Việt Minh communications center at Bac Kan. They failed to capture Hồ Chí Minh and his key lieutenants as intended, but 9,000 Việt Minh soldiers were killed during the campaign which was a major blow for the insurgency.

Campaign of 1948
In 1948, France started looking for means of opposing the Việt Minh politically, with an alternative government in Saigon. They began negotiations with the former Vietnamese emperor Bảo Đại to lead an "autonomous" government within the French Union of nations, the State of Vietnam. Two years before, the French had refused Hồ's proposal of a similar status (albeit with some restrictions on French power and the latter's eventual withdrawal from Vietnam); however, they were willing to give it to Bảo Ðại as he had freely collaborated with French rule of Vietnam in the past and was in no position to seriously negotiate or impose demands (Bảo Ðại had no military of his own, but soon he would have one).

Campaign of 1949
In 1949, France officially recognized the "independence" of the State of Vietnam as an associated state within the French Union under Bảo Ðại. However, France still controlled all foreign relations and every defense issue as Vietnam was only nominally an independent state within the French Union . The Việt Minh quickly denounced the government and stated that they wanted "real independence, not Bảo Ðại independence". Later on, as a concession to this new government and a way to increase their numbers, France agreed to the formation of the Vietnamese National Army to be commanded by Vietnamese officers. These troops were used mostly to garrison quiet sectors so French forces would be available for combat. Private Cao Dai, Hoa Hao and the Binh Xuyen gangster armies were

First Indochina War used in the same way. The Vietnamese Communists in return obtained outside support in 1949 when Chairman Mao Zedong succeeded in taking control of China by defeating the Kuomintang, thus gaining a major political ally and supply area just across the border. In the same year, the French also granted independence (within the framework of the French Union) to the other two nations in Indochina, the Kingdoms of Laos and Cambodia. The United States recognized the South Vietnamese state, but many other nations viewed it as simply a French puppet regime and would not deal with it at all . The United States began to give military aid to France in the form of weaponry and military observers. By then with almost unlimited Chinese military supplies entering Vietnam, General Giáp re-organized his local irregular forces into five full conventional infantry divisions, the 304th, 308th, 312th, 316th and the 320th. The war began to intensify when Giáp went on the offensive, attacking isolated French bases along the Chinese border.

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Campaign of 1950
In February 1950, Giáp seized the vulnerable 150-strong French garrison at Lai Khe in Tonkin just south of the border with China. Then, on May 25, he attacked the garrison of Cao Bang manned by 4,000 French-controlled Vietnamese troops, but his forces were repulsed. Giáp launched his second offense again against Cao Bang as well as Dong Khe on September 15. Dong Khe fell on September 18, and Cao Bang finally fell on October 3. Lang Son, with its 4,000-strong French Foreign Legion garrison, was attacked immediately after. The retreating French on Route 4, together with the relief force coming from That Khe, were attacked all the way by ambushing Việt Minh forces. The French air-dropped a paratroop battalion south of Dong Khe to act as diversion only to see it surrounded and destroyed. On October 17, Lang Son, after a week of intense fighting, finally fell. By the time the remains of the garrisons reached the safety of the Red River Delta, 4,800 French troops had been killed, captured or missing in action and 2,000 wounded out of a total garrison force of over 10,000. Also lost were 13 artillery A map of dissident activities in Indochina in 1950. pieces, 125 mortars, 450 trucks, 940 machine guns, 1,200 submachine guns and 8,000 rifles destroyed or captured during the fighting. China and the Soviet Union recognized Hồ Chí Minh as the legitimate ruler of Vietnam and sent him more and more supplies and material aid. The year 1950 also marked the first time that napalm was ever used in Vietnam (this type of weapon was supplied by the U.S. for the use of the French Aeronovale at the time). The military situation improved for France when their new commander, General Jean Marie de Lattre de Tassigny, built a fortified line from Hanoi to the Gulf of Tonkin, across the Red River Delta, to hold the Việt Minh in place and use his troops to smash them against this barricade, which became known as the "De Lattre Line". This led to a period of success for the French.

The 316th Division. 1951. The attacks fared no better and the three divisions lost heavily. leading some to question the leadership of the Communist government. However.000 men. General Trinh Minh The. Giap was forced to withdraw. launching an attack against Mao Khe. to attack Vinh Yen. having lost over 3.000 killed. by a parachute drop and expanded their perimeter. The Battle of Vinh Yen had been a catastrophe. de Lattre mounted his counter offensive against the demoralized Việt Minh.000 men. any benefit this may have reaped for France was negated by the increasing domestic opposition to the war in France. Việt Minh casualties rose alarmingly during this period. the 308th Division at Ninh Binh. without the ability to quickly hide and retreat. 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Hanoi which was manned by the 6. withdrew. and the main attack delivered by the 320th Division at Phat Diem south of Hanoi. Giap launched yet another attack on May 29 with the 304th Division at Phu Ly. 20 miles (32 km) north of Haiphong. Giap moved the 308th and 312th Divisions. The Việt Minh entered a trap. Giap tried again. 8.000 killed. 1951. having lost over 6. French General Chanson was assassinated during a kamikaze attentat at Sa Đéc in South Vietnam that was blamed on the Việt Minh although it was argued in some quarters that Cao Dai nationalist Trinh Minh The could have been involved in its planning. Campaign of 1952 .000 wounded and 500 captured. went forward and were beaten in bitter hand-to-hand fighting against French troops. On July 31.First Indochina War 5 Campaign of 1951 On January 13. composed of 11. with the partly rebuilt 308th and 312th Divisions in reserve. Giap. made up of over 20. By January 16. 25 miles (40 km) west of the De Lattre line. the French seized Hòa Bình. On November 14. even within the party. Every effort by Vo Nguyen Giap to break the line failed and every attack he made was answered by a French counter-attack that destroyed his forces. Taking advantage of this. driving them back into the jungle and eliminating the enemy pockets in the Red River Delta by June 18 costing the Việt Minh over 10. Caught for the first time in the open and actually forced to fight the French head-on.000 dead and wounded by March 28. they were mowed down by concentrated French artillery and machine gun fire.000 strong 9th Foreign Legion Brigade. On March 23.

Operation Castor was . There were continued raids. Giáp by now had control over most of Tonkin beyond the De Lattre line. On October 29. guerrilla attacks. it was on a Việt Minh supply route into Laos on the Nam Yum River. and Phu Doan on November 9 by a parachute drop. still loyal to the French. and overran much of the Black River valley. he died there shortly thereafter and was replaced by General Raoul Salan as the overall commander of French forces in Indochina. On October 17.First Indochina War 6 Việt Minh launched attacks on Hòa Binh forcing the French to withdraw back to their main positions on the De Lattre line by February 22. seeing the situation as critical. launched Operation Lorraine along the Clear river to force Giáp to relieve pressure on the Nghia Lo outposts. it failed to divert the Việt Minh offensive or seriously damage its logistical network. Ðiện Biên Phủ had a number of advantages. except for the airfield of Na San where a strong French garrison entrenched. beginning to withdraw back to the de Lattre line. 1952. but through most of the rest of the year each side withdrew to prepare itself for larger operations. At first this strategy was successful for the French Union but it ended with a fiasco in 1954. 1952. Giáp launched attacks against the French garrisons along Nghia Lo. concluded that A Bearcat of the Aéronavale drops napalm on Việt Minh Division 320th's artillery during Operation "hedgehog" centers of defense were the best plan. 30. Each side lost nearly 5. He reported to the government "…that there was no possibility of winning the war in Indo-China" saying that the best the French could hope for was a stalemate. Giáp. skirmishes and French foreign airborne 1st BEP firing with a FM 24/29 during an ambush (1952). throughout the war theater. Raoul Salan. Looking at a map Mouette (11. Though the operation was partially successful. 1953. the Việt Minh cut French supply lines and began to seriously wear down the resolve of the French forces. Within that year. Starting on October 2. Navarre chose the small town of Ðiện Biên Phủ. Navarre. In January. Salan took Phu Tho on November 5. it proved that although the French could strike out at any target outside the De Lattre line. in response to the Việt Minh attacking Laos. surrounding and defeating several French outposts such as Muong Khoua.000 men in this campaign and it showed that the war was far from over. General de Lattre fell ill from cancer and had to return to France for treatment. Salan correctly guessed what the Việt Minh were up to and cancelled the operation on November 14. and finally Phu Yen on November 13. The only real change came in May when General Navarre replaced General Salan as supreme commander in Indochina. located about 10 miles (16 km) north of the Lao border and 175 miles (282 km) west of Hanoi as a target to block the Việt Minh from invading Laos. Campaign of 1953 On April 9. He planned to wait until their supply lines were over extended and then cut them off from the Red River Delta. in the largest operation in Indochina to date. operated. 1952. of the area. northwest of Hanoi.000 French Union soldiers moved out from the De Lattre line to attack the Việt Minh supply dumps at Phu Yen. when the Việt Minh ambushed the French column at Chan Muong on November 17. it had an old airstrip for supply and it was situated in the T'ai hills where the T'ai tribesmen. after having failed repeatedly in direct attacks on French positions in Vietnam. The road was cleared after a bayonet charge by the Indochinese March Battalion and the withdrawal could continue. changed strategy and began to pressure the French by invading Laos. Giáp at first did not react to the French offensive. The only major fighting during the operation came during the withdrawal. the Battle of Na San saw the first use of the French commanders "hedgehog" tactics consisting in setting up a well defended outpost to get the Việt Minh out of the jungle and force it to fight a conventional battle instead of ambushes.1953).

The Việt Minh victory at Dien Bien Phu heavily influenced the outcome of the 1954 Geneva accords that took place on July 21. The last French offensive took place on May 4. seeing the weakness of the French position. during which the French fought on but were eventually overrun by a huge frontal assault.000 or so Vietnamese soldiers thought to be involved.[21] At least 2. In August began Operation Passage to Freedom consisting of the evacuation of Catholic and loyalist Vietnamese . viewing the conflict as chiefly a decolonization war. Much of the fighting ended on May 7. 7 Campaign of 1954 By 1954. the French and T'ai units operating from Lai Châu to the north patrolled the hills. most of the French and T'ai patrols in the hills around the town were wiped out by Việt Minh ambushes. but it was ineffective. The final fall took two days. The battle was fought near the village of Dien Bien Phu in northern Vietnam and became the last major battle between the French and the Vietnamese in the First Indochina War.200 members of the 20. A formal order was given to not use the white flag so that it would not be considered to be a surrender but a ceasefire. With defeat imminent. a ceasefire was not respected on Isabelle. particularly when the advent of the monsoon season made dropping supplies and reinforcements by parachute difficult. Franco-Vietnamese medics treating a wounded Việt Minh POW at Hung Yen (1954). May 6 and 7. The political stagnation of the Fourth Republic meant that France was unable to extract itself from the conflict. where the battle lasted until May 8 1:00 am. despite official propaganda presenting the war as a "crusade against communism".First Indochina War launched on November 20. Their supply lines interrupted.[19] [20] the war in Indochina was still growing unpopular with the French public.000-strong French forces died.000 wounded. However. Of the 50. The prisoners taken at Dien Bien Phu were the greatest number the Việt Minh had ever captured: one-third of the total captured during the entire war. The Battle of Dien Bien Phu occurred in 1954 between Viet Minh forces under Vo Nguyen Giap supported by China and the Soviet Union and the French Union's French Far East Expeditionary Corps supported by Indochinese allies. the French sought to hold on till the opening of the Geneva peace meeting on April 26. The United States initially sought to remain neutral. however. the isolated southern position.800 men of the French 1st and 2nd Airborne Battalions dropping into the valley of Ðiện Biên Phủ and sweeping aside the local Việt Minh garrison. The Việt Minh then began to hammer the outpost with newly supplied Russian Katyusha rockets along with all the other inventions and implements now being turned against the French. Giap launched some offensives against the delta but they all failed.) to deny their use to the enemy.000-15. . General Cogny based in Hanoi ordered General de Castries. and another 1. transmissions.000 killed and another 9. The operation was a tactical success for the French. who was commanding the outpost to cease fire at 5:30 pm and to destroy all material (weapons. Encountering little opposition. there were an estimated 4. etc. On the same time. started moving most of his forces from the De Lattre line to Ðiện Biên Phủ. The paratroopers gained control of a heart-shaped valley 12 miles (19 km) long and eight miles (13 km) wide surrounded by heavily wooded hills. Giáp. 1953 with 1. The battle began on March 13 when preemptive Việt Minh attack surprised the French with heavy artillery. the composite Groupe Mobile 100 (GM100) of the French Union forces evacuated the An Khe outpost and was ambushed by a larger Việt Minh force at the Battle of Mang Yang Pass from June 24 to July 17. The fight for control of this position would be the longest and hardest battle for the French Far East Expeditionary Corps and would be remembered by the veterans as "57 Days of Hell". By mid-December.729 were reported missing after the battle.800 to 8. the French position became untenable. One month after Dien Bien Phu.

We are today on 17th of June.. had been invested as Prime Minister on June 17. It is because I wanted a better peace that I wanted it earlier. the recovery of our economy and its expansion. and my government will give its dismissal to Mr.. I will present myself before you before the 20th of July. 1954.First Indochina War civilians from communist North Vietnamese persecution. My conviction that a pacific settlement of the conflict is possible has been confirmed. already several years.. consulted the most qualified military and diplomatic experts. A negotiation has been engaged in Geneva.. recognized the 17th parallel as a "provisional military demarcation line" temporarily dividing the country into two zones. a peace negotiated with the opponent seemed to me commanded by the facts.. Since Geneva Conference. in return. to put back in order our finances. During this time the French Union and the Việt Minh were fighting the most epic battle of the war at Dien Bien Phu. you will be freed from the contract which would have tied us together. nor our opponents must conserve the least doubt on the signification of our determination. opponent of the war since 1950. A "cease-fire" must henceforth intervene quickly. reaching a ceasefire in four months: "Today it seems we can be reunited in a will for peace that may express the aspirations of our country. a compromise peace. Because this war placed on our country an unbearable burden. while it commanded. And here appears today a new and formidable threat: if the Indochina conflict is not resolved — and settled very fast — it is the risk of war.. I have longly studied the report."[22] The Geneva Conference on July 21. Communist North Vietnam and pro-Western South Vietnam. But even now there is some renouncings or abandons that the situation does not comprise. of international war and maybe atomic. The government which I will form will fix itself — and will fix to its opponents — a delay of 4 weeks to reach it. In France. . on a promise to put an end to the war. that we must foresee. 8 Geneva Conference and Partition Further information: Geneva Conference (1954) and Partition of Vietnam Negotiations between France and the Việt Minh started in Geneva in April 1954 at the Geneva Conference. France will remain present in Far-Orient. Pierre Mendès-France. when we had more assets.. France does not have to accept and will not accept settlement which would be incompatible with its more vital interests [applauding on certain seats of the Assembly on the left and at the extreme right].. 1954. Neither our allies. the President of the Republic. If no satisfying solution has been reached at this date.

in 1955 Diệm used a referendum to remove the former Emperor and declare himself the president of the Republic of Vietnam. From 1925–26. Hồ Chí Minh moved to Guangzhou. Emperor Bảo Đại appointed Ngô Ðình Diệm as Prime Minister of South Vietnam. he organized the 'Youth Education Classes' and occasionally gave lectures at the famous Whampoa Military Academy on the revolutionary movement in Indochina. In 1938. he combined the various Vietnamese communist groups into the Indochinese Communist Party in Hong Kong in 1930. South Vietnam were activated and started to fight the government. observing the tenth anniversary of the July 1954 North Vietnam also invaded and occupied portions of Laos to assist Geneva Agreements. where he spent several years recovering from tuberculosis. Late in the war. The Việt Minh were willing to accept French rule to end Chinese occupation. Hồ Chí Minh and others had fears of the Chinese. July 1964. The war gradually escalated into the Second Indochina War. he was arrested and incarcerated by British police until his release in 1933. Hồ Chí Minh created the Viet Minh as an umbrella organization for all the nationalist resistance movements. the Japanese created a nominally independent government of Vietnam under the overall leadership of Bảo Đại. they began reasserting their authority over parts of the country. He spent many years in Moscow and participated in the International Comintern. de-emphasizing his communist social revolutionary background. However. the Japanese arrested and imprisoned most of the French officials and military officers left in the country. In June 1931. Around the same time. At the same time. more commonly known as the Vietnam War in the West and the American War in Vietnam. returned to Vietnam and formed the Việt Nam Độc Lập Đồng Minh Hội (Allied Association of Independent Vietnam). based on China's historic domination and occupation of Vietnam. He then made his way back to the Soviet Union. In 1941. seeing communist revolution as the path to freedom. The French landed a military force at . With American support. Việt Minh cadres who stayed behind in Students demonstration in Saigon. Ho Chi Minh. The French negotiated a deal with the Chinese where pre-war French concessions in Chinese ports such as Shanghai were traded for Chinese cooperation in Vietnam. the Chinese for a return of the French army to Vietnam north of the 16th parallel. At the direction of Moscow. better known as the Việt Minh. After the French army and other officials were freed from Japanese prisons in Vietnam. in supplying the guerilla fighting National Liberation Front in South Vietnam. When the elections were prevented from happening by the Americans and the South. From his home in France.First Indochina War 9 The Geneva Accords promised elections in 1956 to determine a national government for a united Vietnam. the United States and the State of Vietnam refused to sign the document. He stayed there in Hong Kong as a representative of the Communist International organization. he returned to China and served as an adviser with the Chinese Communist armed forces. Ho Chi Minh In 1923. China. the French government began negotiations with both the Việt Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap and Ho Chi Minh (1942).

S. as part of a post-colonial solution. armed militias from the religious Cao Dai and Hoa Hao sects and the Binh Xuyen organized crime groups which were all individually seeking power in the country. After World War II.000. which resulted in strong parliamentary unstability. the French re-installed Bảo Ðại as head of state of Vietnam under the French Union. with the two most significant movements of this period. The Korean War broke out in 1950 between communist North Korea (DPRK) supported by China and the Soviet Union. In 1946. Truman requesting support for independence (Hanoi. The British had supported the French in fighting the Viet Minh. Negotiations then took place about the future for Vietnam as a state within the French Union. This had the effect of weakening the regime. in the same year. 1946). the French Communist Party (PCF) and the socialist French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO). the United States and the USSR entered into the Cold War. In the French-controlled areas of Vietnam. Hồ's government gained recognition from China and the Soviet Union by January 1950 in response to Western support for the State of Vietnam that the French had proposed as an associate state within the French Union. with the expulsion from Paul Ramadier's SFIO government of the PCF ministers. because it was supported and supplied by China. 10 French domestic situation The 1946 Constitution creating the Fourth Republic (1946–1958) made France a Parliamentary republic. and South Korea (ROK) supported by the United States and its allies in the UN. domination of the entire region would have deep implications for American interests. by 1954. In 1948. China was able to give almost unlimited support in terms of weapons and supplies to the Việt Minh which transformed itself into a conventional army. the United States was paying 80% of France's war effort which was $3.First Indochina War Haiphong in early 1946. Known as tripartisme. The Cold War was now turning 'hot' Telegram from Hồ Chí Minh to U.000 per day in 1952. it could find stability only by an alliance between the three dominant parties: the Christian Democratic Popular Republican Movement (MRP). marking the official start of the Cold War in France. The Viet Minh were militarily ineffective in the first few years of the war and could do little more than harass the French in remote areas of Indochina.[23] France was increasingly unable to afford the costly conflict in Indochina and. These talks eventually failed and the Việt Minh fled into the countryside to wage guerrilla war. The US became strongly opposed to the government of Hồ Chí Minh. in part. Vietnam created its first constitution. the war changed with the triumph of the communists in China on Vietnam's northern border. President Harry S.[24] [25] . in East Asia. France had fourteen prime ministers in succession between the creation of the Fourth Republic in 1947 and the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Hence. Unlikely alliances had to be made between left and right-wing parties in order to form a government invested by the National Assembly. Communism and Gaullism. the government of Bảo Đại gained recognition by the United States and the United Kingdom. In 1949. The rapid turnover of governments (there were 17 different governments during the war) left France unable to prosecute the war with any consistent policy according to veteran General René de Biré (Lieutenant at Dien Bien Phu). this alliance briefly lasted until the May 1947 crisis. in opposition. and the American government feared communist Feb. 28. Because of the political context.

major trade unions like the General Confederation of Labour as well as notable leftist intellectuals. known as the Piastres Affair.[30] The same propaganda existed in the United States with local newsreels using French news footage. On May 5 communist Ministers were dismissed from the government.[27] Young communist militants (UJRF) were also accused of sabotage actions like the famous Henri Martin Affair and the case of Raymonde Dien who was jailed one year for having blocked an ammunition train. the Indochina War was presented as a direct continuation of the Korean War where France had fought as a UN French battalion then incorporated in a U. As a result. The scandal started the commercial success of the first French news magazine L'Express created in 1953. the "1st Worldwide Congress of Peace Partisans" (1er Congrès Mondial des Partisans de la Paix.[23] These actions became such a cause for concern by 1950 that the French Assembly voted a law against sabotage from March 2 to 8. Charleville.[3] [26] The first occurrence was probably at the National Assembly on March 21. such as grenades exploding in the hands of legionaries. Some military officers involved in the Revers Report scandal (Rapport Revers) like General Salan were very pessimistic about the way the war was being conducted. Later on April 28.[29] The third scandal was a financial-political scandal.[20] hence the sacrifice of volunteers during the climactic battle of Dien Bien Phu. Emerging media played their role. 652 non-paratrooper soldiers from all army corps from cavalry to infantry to artillery dropped for the first and last time of their life to support their comrades.[27] A few months later on November 11. money and arms trading involving both the French Union army and the Viet Minh. propaganda was necessary both to justify financial aid and at the same time to promote the American effort in the ongoing Korean War. and Paris. Joliot-Curie would be dismissed from the military and civilian Atomic Energy Commission for political reasons. unit. with the help of other militants. In the latest days of the siege. you are fighting against Communism". with the French communist Nobel laureate atomic physicist Frédéric Joliot-Curie as president. probably supplied by the army's cinematographic service. starting with the Generals' Affair (Affaire des Généraux) from September 1949 to November 1950. during the Generals' putsch (Algerian War) of 1961. the French Communist Party leader Maurice Thorez went to Moscow. marking the end of Tripartism. Occurring during the Red Scare years. At this session tension was so high between politicians that fighting ensued in the assembly following communist deputees speeches against the Indochinese policy. The following year a pacifist event was organized. 1950.S. Even ammunition sabotage by PCF agents have been reported. with limited effect though. the World Peace Council's predecessor) which took place from March 25 to March 28. in order to prevent the supply of French forces in Indochina in February 1950. Marseille. 1947 when the communist deputees refused to back the military credits for Indochina. 1950. The US Communist Party was outlawed in 1954.[19] In an interview taped in May 2004. The war ended that year but its sequel started in French Algeria where the French Communist Party played an even stronger role by supplying the National Liberation Front (FLN) rebels with intelligence documents and financial aids. In the French news.[27] This month saw the French navy mariner and communist militant Henri Martin arrested by military police and jailed for five years for sabotage and propaganda operations in Toulon's arsenal.[3] [23] Similar actions against trains occurred in Roanne.First Indochina War A strong anti-war movement came into existence in France driven mostly by the then powerful French Communist Party (outpowering the socialists) and its young militant associations. United States Secretary of State John Foster Dulles made an official speech depicting the "tragic event" and "its defense for fifty seven days and nights will remain in 11 .[24] [31] A few hours after the French Union defeat at Dien Bien Phu in May 1954. 1950. The Cold War excuse was later used by General Challe through his famous "Do you want Mers El Kébir & Algiers to become soviet bases as soon as tomorrow?". General Bigeard (6th BPC) argues that "one of the deepest mistakes done by the French during the war was the propaganda telling you are fighting for Freedom. They were called "the suitcase carriers" (les porteurs de valises). concerning military corruption. 1948 in Paris. General Revers was dismissed in December 1949 and socialist Defense Ministry Jules Moch (SFIO) was brought on court by the National Assembly on November 28.[28] with multiple political-military scandals all happening during the war. which was later involved in the terrible Battle of Mang Yang Pass of June and July 1954.

some minorities were trained and organized as regular battalions (mostly infantry tirailleurs) that fought with French forces against the Việt Minh.[38] In the 1950s. Tunisia. Bizerte. Senegalese of the Colonial Artillery fought at the siege of Dien Bien Phu. Cochinchine) had the Vietnamese National Army supporting the French forces. and concluded with the call to "all concerned nations" concerning the necessity of "a collective defense" against "the communist aggression". Senegal. almost all of whom were used in conventional units. Part of French Indochina. Tunisian troops.2 (Centre d'Instruction de l'Infanterie no.000 French troops were Indochinese. • Passage to Freedom was a Franco-American operation to evacuate refugees. French Algeria sent local troops to Indochina including several RTA (Régiment de Tirailleurs Algériens) light infantry battalions. Loyal Indochinese evacuated to metropolitan France were kept in detention camps.000 of the 500.First Indochina War History as one of the most heroic of all time.[35] The Afrique Occidentale Française (AOF) was a federation of African colonies. Moroccan troops were part of light infantry RTMs (Régiment de Tirailleurs Marocains) for "Moroccan Sharpshooters Regiment". Some African alumni were trained in the Infantry Instruction Center no. he denounced Chinese aid to the Việt Minh. which was then occupied by the Japanese. mostly RTT (Régiment de Tirailleurs Tunisiens). While Bảo Đại's State of Vietnam (formerly Annam." Later on.[37] Another allied minority was the Muong people (Mường). Morocco was a French protectorate and sent troops to support the French effort in Indochina. Such deserters were called the Nam Yum rats by Bigeard during the siege.) to fight in French Indochina. Senegalese and other African troops were sent to fight in Indochina. was a major French base. as they hid close to the Nam Yum river during the day and searched at night for supply drops. Laos fought the communists along with French forces. protectorates and associated states (Madagascar. the . 2e Bataillon Thai) is famous for its desertion during the siege of Dien Bien Phu. Tonkin. etc. explained that the United States could not act openly because of international pressure. France headed the French Union.[32] 12 War crimes & re-education camps Further information: War crimes and reeducation camp • The Boudarel Affair. the French Chief of Staff with Raoul Salan would use the POWs experience with the Viet Minh reeducation camps to create two "Instruction Center for Pacification and Counter-Insurgency" (Centre d'Instruction à la Pacification et à la Contre-Guérilla aka CIPCG) and train thousands of officers during the Algerian War. The Union gathered combatants from almost all French territories made of colonies. the French Far East Expeditionary Corps (CEFEO) was created in March 1945. About 325. Georges Boudarel was a French communist militant who used brainwashing and torture against French Union POWs in Việt Minh reeducation camps. then part of the French Union and later an associated state. were sent to Indochina.[33] The French national association of POWs brought Boudarel to court for a war crime charge. As successive governments had forbidden the sending of metropolitan troops. The role played by Laotian troops in the conflict was depicted by veteran Pierre Schoendoerffer's famous 317th Platoon released in 1964. As a French colony (later a full province). As a French protectorate. Propaganda leaflets written in Tai and French sent by the Việt Minh were found in the deserted positions and trenches. Most of the French Union prisoners died in the Việt Minh camps and many POWs from the Vietnamese National Army were missing.2) located in southern Vietnam.[34] • In 1957. Tunisia. Other countries' involvement Further information: French Union By 1946. The 1st Muong Battalion (1er Bataillon Muong) was awarded the Croix de guerre des TOE after the victorious battle of Vinh Yen in 1951.[36] The French Indochina state of Cambodia played a significant role during the Indochina War through its infantrymen and paratroopers. The Tai Battalion 2 (BT2.

[46] [47] 2. recoup after losses. The commando was awarded the Croix de guerre des TOE with palm in July 1951.[23] On top of this China sent two artillery battalions at the siege of Dien Bien Phu on May 6. Việt Minh prisoners were recruited in POW camps. later renamed Groupement Mixte d'Intervention (GMI. truck engines. who assassinated him (and his Vietnamese fiancee) with external help on the night of January 5. commander Nguien Tinh Khoi (308th Division's 56th Regiment). medics. artillery (24 guns were used at Dien Bien Phu) and other military equipment including a large part of material captured from Chiang Kai-shek's National Revolutionary Army during the Chinese Civil War.[45] One point that neither the Americans nor the French seemed to grasp. Using highly effective camouflage. aka "North Vietnam Commando #24") based in Nam Dinh. tires. and store supplies. The Soviet Union was the other ally of the Việt Minh supplying GAZ trucks. the French Union reconnaissance planes were not able 13 . famous Colonel Roger Trinquier. all kind of ammunitions. and a mission on April 30. directed by the SDECE counter-intelligence service. arms. 1954. it is almost impossible for any foreign enemy to ever destroy them. ammunitions. or Mixed Intervention Group). when Jedburgh veteran Captain Sassi led the Mèo partisans of the GCMA Malo-Servan in Operation Condor during the siege of Dien Bien Phu.[46] [49] According to General Giap. In the early 1950s. and those who refused to join the State of Vietnam's army were considered prisoners or used as coolies to support a given regiment. in which they can hide out. the Viet Minh used 400 GAZ-51 soviet-built trucks at the battle of Dien Bien Phu. They were captured in enemy controlled villages. money.000 Chinese and Soviet Union military advisors trained the Việt Minh guerrilla to turn it into a full range army. As long as the revolutionaries who are fighting a guerilla war have a sanctuary. One operated 12 x 6 Katyusha rockets[48] China and the Soviet Union were the first nations to recognize North Vietnam. Recruits were volunteers from the Thổ people. fuel.[39] [40] Declassified information about the GCMA include the name of its commander. the battle of Cao Bang. The Việt Minh also used thousands of coolies to carry the Chu-Luc (regional units) supplies and ammunition during assaults. During the battle of Dien Bien Phu. China supplied the Việt Minh guerrillas with food (thousands of tons of rice). southern China was used as a sanctuary by Việt Minh guerrillas. anti-aircraft guns (4 x 37 mm type) and cigarettes. arms (thousands of Skoda light machine guns).First Indochina War French established secret commando groups based on loyal montagnard ethnic minorities referred as "partisans" or "maquisards". 1954.[42] [43] [44] Coolies and POWs known as PIM (Prisonniers Internés Militaires which is basically the same as POW) were civilians used by the army as logistical support personnel. The PIM were civilian males old enough to join Bảo Đại's army. was the concept of sanctuary. the French Union paratroopers captured and destroyed tons of Soviet supply in the Ky Lua area. however Vandenberghe was betrayed by a Việt Minh recruit. after they were abandoned hence a terrible smell according to veterans – and they had the dangerous job of gathering supply packets delivered in drop zones while the Việt Minh artillery was firing hard to destroy the crates. Several hit and run ambushes were successfully operated against French Union convoys along the neighboring Route Coloniale 4 (RC 4) which was a major supply way in Tonkin (northern Vietnam). The SDECE's "Service Action" GCMA used both commando and guerrilla techniques and operated in intelligence and secret missions from 1950 to 1955. regular army) and Du Kich (guerrilla unit).[41] In 1951. Evidences of the Chinese secret aid were found in caves during Operation Hirondelle in July 1953. called the Groupement de Commandos Mixtes Aéroportés (Composite Airborne Commando Group or GCMA). This commando unit wore Việt Minh black uniforms to confuse the enemy and used techniques of the experienced Bo doi (Bộ đội. Nung people and Miao people. During Operation Hirondelle. One of the most famous attack of this kind was China supplied the Viet Minh with hundreds of Soviet-built GAZ-51 trucks in the 1950s. Adjutant-Chief Vandenberghe from the 6th Colonial Infantry Regiment (6e RIC) created the "Commando Vanden" (aka "Black Tigers". coolies were in charge of burying the corpses – the first days only. 1952.

Together with China. announced publicly that the U.[23] The Soviet Union and China the were first nations to recognize Ho Chi Minh's North Vietnam. 14 Mutual Defense Assistance Act (1950–1954) At the beginning of the war. supplies for Indochina were delivered. Two US pilots were killed in action during the siege of Dien Bien Phu the following year. On May 6. primarily through Mutual Defense Assistance Act. Officially. in 2005 during the Légion d'honneur award ceremony by the French ambassador in Washington. so that the spread of Soviet-allied communism could be contained. in Washington. Later. President Harry S. the United States started to support the French Union effort politically. In September. however. the United States became concerned about the spread of communism in Asia. On June 30. Then the U. and began to strongly support the French as the two Anti-communist Vietnamese refugees moving from a French LSM landing ship to the USS Montague countries were bound by the Cold War Mutual Defense [50] during Operation Passage to Freedom in 1954. was doing so. Truman sent the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) to Indochina to assist the French. and on June 27. However. U. the first U.S. Katyusha were successfully used against the outpost. the U. Programme. It was feared in Washington that if Ho were to win the war. because the Việt Minh had recently been their allies. after the outbreak of the Korean War. with his ties to the Soviet Union.S. The prospect of a communist dominated Southeast Asia was enough to spur the U. 1950.First Indochina War to notice them. and because most of its attention was focused on Europe where Winston Churchill argued an Iron Curtain had fallen.S. introducing what he referred to as the "domino principle". the conflict in Vietnam was also seen as part of a broader proxy war with China and the USSR in Asia. President Dwight D. 1950. Eisenhower explained the escalation risk. after the capture of Hainan island by Chinese Communist forces. government gradually began supporting the French in their war effort.S. During the Korean War. logistically and financially.S. which eventually became the concept of Domino theory. the Soviet Union sent 2. A dramatic shift occurred in American policy after the victory of Mao Zedong's Communist Party of China in the Chinese Civil War. After the Moch–Marshall meeting of September 23. recently it has been discovered that undercover (CAT) -or not. 1954 during the siege.000 military advisors to train the Viet Minh and turn it into a fully organized army. was neutral in the conflict because of opposition to imperialism and consequently to help colonial empires regain their power and influence. in 1954. as a means of stabilizing the French Fourth Republic in which the French Communist Party was a significant political force. particularly following the end of the Chinese Civil War. to support France. These facts were declassified and made public more than 50 years after the events.S. he would establish a puppet state with Moscow with the Soviets ultimately controlling Vietnamese affairs. US involvement did not include use of armed force.S.US Air Force pilots flew to support the French during Operation Castor in November 1953. . 1950. Truman began covertly authorizing direct financial assistance to the French.[51] In May 1950. U. By 1949.

1954. with the last of the batch. Air Force assistance followed in November 1953 when the French commander in Indochina. rolled out in December 1952. twelve C-119s of the 483rd Troop Carrier Wing ("Packet Rats") based at Ashiya.S.S. Navy and passed on to the Aeronavale through the U. asked General McCarty. Bois Belleau (aka USS Belleau Wood) transferred to France in 1953. She was used to support delta defenders in the Halong Bay operation in May 1954. General Navarre. commander of the Combat Cargo Division. the United States Navy transferred the USS Agenor (ARL-3) (LST 490) to the French navy in Indochina in accordance with the MAAG-led MAP. the USS Belleau Wood (renamed Bois Belleau) was lent to France and sent to French Indochina to replace the Arromanches. Japan. were painted with France's insignia and loaned to France with 24 CIA pilots for short term use. she joined the Franco-American evacuation operation called "Passage to Freedom".[52] On March 2 of that year. Vietnam in April 1952.[53] On April 18. for 12 Fairchild C-119 for Operation Castor at Dien Bien Phu.MC AU-1s (previously used in the Korean War) and moved from Yokosuka. They were supplemented by 25 ex-U. The F4U-7s were actually purchased by the U. again using the USS Windham Bay. US Air Force assistance (1952–1954) A total of 94 F4U-7s were built for the Aeronavale in 1952.S.F flotilla who Japan to Tourane Air Base (Da Nang). A 1952 F4U-7 Corsair of the 14. US fought at Dien Bien Phu. During September 1953. the final Corsair built. Maintenance was carried out by the US Air Force and airlift operations were commanded by McCarty. The USS Sitkoh Bay carrier delivered Grumman F8F Bearcat aircraft to Saigon on March 26.First Indochina War 15 US Navy assistance (1951–1954) The USS Windham Bay delivered Grumman F8F Bearcat fighter aircraft to Saigon on January 26. 1951. Military Assistance Program (MAP). On March 3. 1954. 1951. Renamed RFS Vulcain (A-656). during the siege of Dien Bien Phu.[51] . The same month. the USS Saipan delivered 25 Korean War AU-1 Corsair aircraft for use by the French Aeronavale in supporting the besieged garrison. The USAF also provided C-124 Globemasters to transport French paratroop reinforcements to Indochina. she was used in Operation Hirondelle in 1953. In August. the United States delivered additional aircraft.

1954 armistice and partition of Vietnam. Operation Passage to Freedom (1954) In August 1954. the French ambassador to the United States. awarded the seven remaining CIA pilots with the Légion d'honneur. .000 Vietnamese civilians were transported from North to South during this period. artillery pieces. McGovern. With the reducing DZ areas. 1954 . 6 Two CAT pilots. The 37 CIA pilots completed 682 airdrops under anti-aircraft fire between March 13 and May. night operations and anti-aircraft artillery assaults. with around one tenth of that number moving in the opposite direction. Wallace Bufford and James B. Jean-David Levitte. in support to the French navy and the merchant navy. the U.[51] The ceasefire began on May 7 at 5:00 pm under Hanoi-based General Cogny's orders. tons of barbed wire. including USS Montague. Around 450. many of the "packets" fell into Việt Minh hands.S. 2005.First Indochina War 16 Central Intelligence Agency covert operations (1954) Twenty four CIA (CAT) pilots supplied the French Union garrison during the siege of Dien Bien Phu by airlifting paratroopers. Navy launched Operation Passage to Freedom and sent hundreds of ships. medics and other military material.[51] On February 25. were killed in action when their Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar was shot down on May 6. in order to evacuate non-communist – especially Catholic Vietnamese refugees from North Vietnam following the July 20. ammunition.[51] France-marked USAF C-119 flown by CIA pilots over Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Jr.

law of August 1. The French censor cut some violent scenes and made the director change the end of his movie which was seen as "too pessismistic". He was cameraman for the army ("Cinematographic Service of the Armies". before his fame as a bestselling novelist. archive. where he used the same optical technique he experimented before when he staged the German prisoners after the Siege of Leningrad (Ленинград в борьбе. 2007. Winkler. 2003). Vietnam (Вьетнам. SCA) during his duty time. humanite. Street Without Joy. info/ seikabutsu/ 2005/ 01036/ pdf/ 0001. "the dirty war" has been featured in various films. Retrieved June 10. Another film was The 317th Platoon (La 317ème Section) was released in 1964. cfm) (in French). 1945) and the "S" shaped POW column marching after the battle. covert involvement and open critics about the French propaganda used during wartime.S. fr/ journal/ 2003-08-02/ 2003-08-02-376623) (in French). Retrieved May 20. Famous Communist propagandist Roman Karmen was in charge of the media exploitation of the battle of Dien Bien Phu. Archived from the original (http:/ / www. Archived from the original (http:/ / www. zaidan.. Notes [1] Fall. fr/ journal/ 2003-08-02/ 2003-08-02-376623) on September 29. Concise Edition Creating a Nation and a Society. 1942). . he staged the famous scene with the raising of the Viet Minh flag over de Castries' bunker which is similar to the one he staged over the Berlin Reichstag roof during World War II (Берлин. 1953. October 2005. documentary. fr/ martin/ W00353/ 2/ 93603. fr/ martin/ W00353/ 2/ 93603. archive. 1942) and the Battle of Moscow (Разгром немецких войск под Москвой. l'Humanité. In his documentary.First Indochina War 17 Popular culture Although a kind of taboo in France. [2] "Those named Martin. Schoendoerffer has since become a media specialist about the Indochina War and has focused his production on realistic war movies. Peter J. television documentaries have been released using new perspectives about the U. 2007. Tokyo foundation. p. [4] Nash. Since its declasification in the first decade of the 21st century. books and songs. "Guerre d'Indochine: Libérez Henri Martin" (http:/ / web. Combined Volume (6th Edition). it was directed by Indochina War (and siege of Dien Bien Phu) veteran Pierre Schoendoerffer.[56] Léo Joannon's film Fort du Fou (Fort of the Mad) /Outpost in Indochina was released in 1963. pdf). Shock Patrol (Patrouille de Choc) aka Patrol Without Hope (Patrouille Sans Espoir) by Claude Bernard-Aubert. 2010. Howe. . and James Clavell's Five Gates to Hell (1959). Robert Florey's Rogues' Regiment (1948).[54] [55] Hollywood made a film about Dien Bien Phu in 1955. 2007. Channel 5 (France). French Indochina medal. . . Their history is ours – The Great History. and Carla Gardina Pestana. 1955). Allan M. Samuel Fuller's China Gate (1957). cfm) on September 29. Charlene Mires. france5. New York: Longman. 井川 一久. 2007. (1946–1954) The Indochina War" (http:/ / web. Gary B. John R. org/ web/ 20070929083220/ http:/ / www. Allen F. moreover as he had covered the Vietnam War he released The Anderson Platoon. Graham Greene's novel The Quiet American takes place during this war. 17. [3] Ruscio. came out in 1956. Retrieved May 20. Alain (August 2. Jump Into Hell. Hollywood also made several films about the war. 2007. directed by David Butler and scripted by Irving Wallace. Davis. Frederick. humanite. [5] "ベトナム独立戦争参加日本人の事跡に基づく日越のあり方に関する研究" (http:/ / nippon. org/ web/ 20070929134829/ http:/ / www. france5. which won the Academy Award for Documentary Feature. Julie Roy Jeffrey. Bernard. The American People. The first French movie about the war.

1945-6 (http:/ / books. December 4. Vietnam: A History. . fr/ 2007/ Histoire_De_France/ Ive_Republique_1946_1958/ 1) (in French). The History Place. 30. [8] Larry H. historyplace. 1961) (http:/ / home. John (August 2007. Tokyo foundation. Truong (March 12. . [32] John Foster Dulles on the fall of Dien Bien Phu (http:/ / www. newsreel. . ISBN 0520256026. [12] Elizabeth Jane Errington (1990). dailymotion. University of California Press. 1999. com/ video/ x2082a_john-foster-dulles-on-the-fall-of-d_events) [33] Boudarel affair in the ANAPI official website (http:/ / www. pp. . dienbienphu.. google. Retrieved May 20. google. com/ ?id=o1t8-EjWyrgC& pg=PA119& dq=chiang+ kai-shek+ vietnam+ french+ concessions#v=onepage& q=chiang kai-shek vietnam french concessions& f=false). Peter (2004). 2007. . php3?id_article=175).J. 2010. dailymotion. com/ ?id=1I4HOcmE4XQC& pg=PA41& dq=chiang+ kai-shek+ vietnam+ french+ concessions#v=onepage& q=chiang kai-shek vietnam french concessions& f=false). fr/ index. Retrieved May 20. TV news. Retrieved November 28. British Paramount News rushes.org the official web site of the battle (http:/ / www. geocities. "A Vietcong Memoir: An Inside Account of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath" (http:/ / www. 2010. 2010. "Dien Bien Phu. . html). com/ video/ x1ziii_frances-war-against-communists-rage) (video). Britain in Vietnam: prelude to disaster. self-published. Retrieved June 10. dailymotion. [19] "La Guerre En Indochine" (http:/ / www. Retrieved November 28. com/ video/ x1z4co_la-guerre-en-indochine-26101950) (video). france2. 2007. info/ seikabutsu/ 2006/ 00197/ pdf/ 0001. Retrieved November 28. New York. com/ uss_skagit/ OperationPassageTo.. 1997). google. 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Vietnam Tracks: Armor in Battle 1945–75. asp?id=5374& page=1& dossierid=483& photo=1& Npage=1& collectionid=4) [47] French Defense Ministry archives (http:/ / www. • Cogan. End of a war. 2010. • Devillers. during the battle of Dien Bien Phu (from the European Navigator based in Luxembourg) (http:/ / www. un cinéaste au service de la révolution (http:/ / www. lacinemathequedetoulouse. The China Quarterly. htm?fulltext=services spéciaux& id=254581179999440& donnee_appel=GOOGL). asp?id=5373& page=1& dossierid=483& photo=1& Npage=1& collectionid=4) [50] "Replacing France: The Origins of American Intervention in Vietnam" (http:/ / www.175 [36] The 317th Platoons script (http:/ / www. dien-bien-phu. 2005. fr/ ecpa/ PagesDyn/ result. Simon. ISBN 2-7030-0100-2 [40] Guerre secrète en Indochine – Les maquis autochtones face au Viêt-Minh (1950–1955) (http:/ / www. 1954. artepro. 1950–54". 2002. Bernard B. Joseph (1972). 2000. ISBN 0-520-04443-6 • Chen Jian. ecpad. 1993. 2004. com/ Replacing-France-Origins-American-Intervention/ dp/ 0813124409/ ) (PDF).. Bernard B. asp?id=1628& page=4& dossierid=483& photo=1& Npage=4& collectionid=4) [48] Chinese General Hoang Minh Thao and Colonel Hoang Minh Phuong quoted by Pierre Journoud researcher at the Defense History Studies (CHED). Praeger. ECPAD (http:/ / www. Praeger. 1992. Kuiv Productions / Arte France. Retrieved June 28. info/ articles. 1954. 2001 [56] The Cinematheque of Toulouse (http:/ / www. ina. com/ programmes/ 58707/ presentation. Lieutenant-Colonel Michel David. 1982. ecpad. Commandant Raymond Muelle & Eric Deroo. levillage. "China and the First Indo-China War. . July 20. Crépin-Leblond editions. Indiana University Press. Embassy of France in the U. 2004. Gérard. 1972. Stackpole Books. fr/ ecpa/ PagesDyn/ notfot. No. org/ IMG/ pdf/ nff/ NFF0502. California. ecpad. cbb) [46] French Defense Ministry archives (http:/ / www. php?m=f& id=1952) 19 References • Buttinger. 1994. February 24. Guerrilla Strategies: An Historical Anthology from the Long March to Afghanistan. ecpad. • Fall. [51] "U.First Indochina War [35] Alf Andrew Heggoy and Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Algeria. Paris University Pantheon-Sorbonne. • Dunstan. asp?id=573& page=1& dossierid=496& photo=1& Npage=1& collectionid=4) [39] Service Spéciaux – GCMA Indochine 1950/54 (http:/ / www. asp?dossierid=486& photo=1& Npage=2& collectionid=4) [43] French Defense Ministry archives (http:/ / www. htm). 133. net4war. ecpad. . ISBN 0-8117-1700-3 • Fall. com/ -/ Fiche/ Livres/ 9782703001003/ services-speciaux-en-indochine-1950-1954-deroo. Street Without Joy. Lavauzelle editions. Lippincott. Jean (1969). fr/ dp/ 2702506364). ISBN 2-7025-0636-4 [41] Dien Bien Phu – Le Rapport Secret (http:/ / www. com/ films/ index. ISBN 1-84176-833-2 • Fall. ena. 1993). Philippe. 2005 [42] French Defense Ministry archives (http:/ / www. Bernard. TF1 Video. . pp. (Mar.S. London: School of Oriental and African Studies. asp?id=2953& page=1& dossierid=497& photo=1& Npage=1& collectionid=4#) [53] http:/ / www. 2007-07.S. ecpad. Osprey Publishing. (1967). php?lng=fr& pg=29) [55] Roman Karmen. alapage. A dragon defiant: a short history of Vietnam. ecpad. fr/ ecpa/ PagesDyn/ result. Retrieved March 30. Lacouture. Patrick Jeudy. asp?dossierid=486& photo=1& Npage=4& collectionid=4) [45] Dr. amazon. com/ e-revue/ dossiers/ indochine/ 317-section. pdf). [52] French Defense Ministry archives (http:/ / www. 1954. ecpad. Hell in a very small place: the siege of Dien Bien Phu. Dominique Chapuis & Patrick Barbéris. fr/ dp/ B0007UMEV6). Jacques Cheneau in "In Vietnam. asp?dossierid=486& photo=1& Npage=3& collectionid=4) [44] French Defense Ministry archives (http:/ / www. book. • Chaliand. "L'attitude des États-Unis à l'égard de la guerre d'Indochine" in Vaïsse (2000: 51–88). Indochina. lu?lang=2& doc=14652) [38] French Defense Ministry archives. Indiana. 85–110. fr/ ecpa/ PagesDyn/ notfot. amazon. p. fr/ ecpa/ PagesDyn/ notfot. amazon. fr/ ecpa/ PagesDyn/ notfot. fr/ ecpa/ PagesDyn/ result. (1963). Eight episode" (http:/ / echo. [49] French Defense Ministry archives (http:/ / www. fr/ ecpa/ PagesDyn/ notfot. 2007.. org/ 207/ 3639. in Paris Hanoi Beijing published in Communisme magazine and the Pierre Renouvin Institute of Paris. fr/ archivespourtous/ index. php?vue=corpus& code=C0524208764# Indochina War: The "good offices" of the Americans (National Audiovisual Institute) [54] Pierre Schoendoerffer interview with Jean Guisnel in Some edited pictures (http:/ / www. University Press of Kentucky. Pilots Honored For Indochina Service" (http:/ / ambafrance-us. Charles G. The two Viet-Nams: a political and military analysis. pdf) [37] Original audio recordings of General de Castries (Dien Bien Phu) and General Cogny (Hanoi) transmissions on May 7. Bloomington. Praeger.

New York: Houghton Mifflin. Bernard B. Lam Quang.google. The struggle for Indochina. Piergiorgio (2010). ISBN 978-2-87027-810-9 • Wiest. 1946–1954.vn/ VNP-Website/NewsEvent/Default. Ellen Joy (1954).net/~r. Street Without Joy: The French Debacle In Indochina (http://books. adieu: A bittersweet memoir of French Indochina. 2002. Paris.fr/en_Historical-context_56.htm) • Vietnam: The Impossible War (http://home. The Last Valley. • Summers. ISBN 0-7322-8197-0 • Roy. Editions Complexe. 2000..asp?ID=55&Event_ID=353&language=EN) Viet Nam Portal • (French) Photos about the First War of Indochina (French Defense Archives) (http://www. 2006.First Indochina War • Giap. James. Modern Reader.fr/tag/ fonds-guerre-dindochine) (ECPAD) .mtholyoke. Martin. University of North Texas. Bologna: Emil. ISBN 1-85532-789-9 • Windrow. 2004. Jules (1963). Martin.edu/acad/intrel/pentagon/pent5. Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. Indocina. The Military Art of People's War. Andrew (editor). The French Indochina War. ISBN 9780-7322-8197-7.att.hodgeman/history1. ISBN 0-395-72223-3 • Thi. Stanford University Press. Pyramid Books. Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 0-306-81386-6 20 Further reading • Pescali. Vo Nguyen. The Twenty-Five Year Century: A South Vietnamese General Remembers the Indochina War to the Fall of Saigon. 1971.ecpad.com/ books?id=GkHH8OoCTtAC&pg=PA1&lpg=PP5&dq="Street+Without+Joy:+The+French+Debacle+In+ Indochina"&psp=9&sig=fnRSyGmHppqW4pwqG8O6tX0Y3zQ) • ANAPI's official website (http://www.asso. Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War.com. The battle of Dienbienphu. Maurice (editor). ISBN 1-57441-143-8 • Vaïsse. JR. Osprey. ISBN 1-55587-821-0 • Perkins.htm) (National Association of Former POWs in Indochina) • Hanoi upon the army's return in victory (bicycles demystified) (http://vietnam.vnagency. 1967–1968. ISBN 978-88-9602-642-7. • Humphries. Sydney: Harper Perennial. ISBN 978-1-84693-020-6 • Windrow. 1999. New York & London. ISBN 0-85345-193-1 • Hammer.anapi. Hanoi. Mandaley. F. 1998.html) • Fall. Chapter 2 (http://www. Through the Valley: Vietnam. 2006. L'Armée française dans la guerre d'Indochine (1946–1954). External links • Pentagon Papers. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. 1995. Harry G.

Woohookitty. Rolf-Peter Wille.JPG  Source: http://en.php?title=File:Gen-commons.org/w/index.0  Contributors: PHGCOM License Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3. Traveler99. GrahamHardy. YellowMonkey. Rangerwave.org/w/index. DieBuche. Ardfern. TheDJ. Litefantastic. Paris By Night. Bngo. DHN. FlyingToaster. Steven Luo. Evb-wiki.wikipedia. B.php?title=File:HD-SN-99-02045. Carlson288. 1 anonymous edits File:French indochina 1953 12 1. Hemphill. Saruman89.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Fredy. Jeremiestrother.mevlie. Varlaam. Ground Zero. Jaro7788.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: CIA File:Trình Minh Thế. Iwearshoes. Licenses and Contributors File:PentagonPapers. Rjwilmsi. JonMiller. Viking880. Gazpacho. Leedmi.org/w/index. Foofbun. Noon.php?title=File:F4U-Corsair. Fan-1967.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: United States Army File:Giap-Ho. Julius. Chris 73. Loopy. OwenBlacker.php?title=File:Samochod_(GAZ)_Lublin-51.org/w/index. 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Segregator236. M3taphysical. RoyBoy. Cracou2. Formeruser-81. MEBuckner. Hede2000.wikipedia.jpg  Source: http://en. Yamla. Tsuba. Lang. Nirvana77. Kronnang Dunn. CyclePat. Lupo. Epbr123.wikipedia File:F4U-Corsair. Nick-D.jpg  Source: http://en.org/w/index.wikipedia. Altenmann. Amore Mio. De Administrando Imperio.org/w/index.jpg  Source: http://en. Hmains. Amitprabhakar.php?title=File:French_Indochina_medal_law_of_1_August_1953. Loren. Tazmaniacs. Stevertigo. Anotherclown. Philly jawn. SchuminWeb. SiberioS. Raul654. Hunter1084.wikipedia. Vints.png  Source: http://en. Lightmouse.php?title=File:Giap-Ho. C+C. MK8.Article Sources and Contributors 21 Article Sources and Contributors First Indochina War  Source: http://en.JPG  License: Public Domain  Contributors: moi-même File:Dien bien phu castor or siege deinterlaced. Isomorphic._July_1964. Jdorney. Stan Shebs. LaNicoya. StoneProphet. CJK. Luboogers25. Opponent File:Samochod (GAZ) Lublin-51. Dr. JForget. Vuhoangsonhn. Gaius Cornelius. 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Twinsday.php?title=File:Dien_bien_phu_castor_or_siege_deinterlaced. Poop. Mxn.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: User:Thái Nhi File:HoChiMinhTelegramToTruman1946. Cmskog. Ryanaxp. Jiang.org/w/index.png  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Warner Pathé News File:HD-SN-99-02043. Fifelfoo. Philip Trueman. Leandrod. SwineFluManiac. Jake the snake99.wikipedia. Denihilonihil.png  Source: http://en. RottweilerCS.00. Neutrality. Albrecht. In Defense of the Artist.jpg  License: GNU Free Documentation License  Contributors: User:Rjt File:HD-SN-99-02045. Jpgordon. IAMTrust. Steel. CanisRufus. Martin451. Philopp. Tone.S. Ugen64. Pat1792A. Pibwl. Decora.jpg  Source: http://en. Nuttycoconut. Podzemnik. Funky Monkey. ResidueOfDesign. JJ Georges. Sentience. PeterHuntington. SGGH. EnthusiastFRANCE. Crazyeddie. Conscious. Tom.Monniaux. Takima. Welsh. Tregony. Thiseye.png  Source: http://en. Coldfire136.0 Unported //creativecommons. 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advancing as far as Luang Prabang and the Plain of Jars. including Lai Chau near the Chinese border to the north. Mayer had given Navarre a single order—to create military conditions that would lead to an "honorable political solution". Marcel Carpentier.[5] In May 1953. The war ended shortly after the battle with the 1954 Geneva Accords. The French were unable to slow the Viet Minh advance. A few escaped to Laos. surrounded and besieged the French. There had been no long-range plan since de Lattre's departure. reactive basis. deep in the hills of northwestern Vietnam. a French ally and Vietnam's western neighbor. the French began an operation to support the soldiers at Dien Bien Phu. the . Jean-Étienne Valluy. The Viet Minh occupied the highlands around Dien Bien Phu and bombarded French positions at will. During their 1952–53 campaign. Tenacious fighting on the ground ensued. for the south. Combat operations were undertaken only in response to enemy moves or threats. the French had begun to strengthen their defenses in the Hanoi delta region to prepare for a series of offensives against Viet Minh staging areas in northwest Vietnam. Everything was conducted on a day-to-day. the Viet Minh had overrun vast swathes of Laos. however. the French recognised the authority of Ho Chi Minh. The battle occurred between March and May 1954 and culminated in a comprehensive French defeat that influenced negotiations over the future of Indochina at Geneva. Vietnamese: Chiến dịch Điện Biên Phủ) was the climactic confrontation of the First Indochina War between the French Union's French Far East Expeditionary Corps and Viet Minh communist revolutionaries. The garrison was overrun after a two-month siege and most French forces surrendered.the Americans cancelled them. and tactically draw the Viet Minh into a major confrontation that would cripple them. Finally. On arrival. and Raoul Salan—had proven incapable of suppressing the Viet Minh insurrection. and the Viet Minh fell back only after outrunning their always-tenuous supply lines. Background and preparations By 1953. Jean de Lattre de Tassigny. to take command of French Union Forces in Indochina. a French ally. There was no comprehensive plan to develop the organization and build up the equipment of the Expeditionary force. Navarre. the First Indochina War was not going well for France.[2] The accords partitioned Vietnam in two. The French repeatedly repulsed Viet Minh assaults on their positions.[4] and the Plain of Jars in northern Laos. under which France agreed to withdraw from its former Indochinese colonies. supported French withdrawal from Indochina. though as the French positions were overrun and the anti-aircraft fire took its toll. Roger Blaizot. A succession of commanders—Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque. The French government resigned and the new President. French Premier René Mayer appointed Henri Navarre. reminiscent of the trench warfare of World War I. Supplies and reinforcements were delivered by air. For the north. Navarre was shocked by what he found. fewer and fewer of those supplies reached them.Battle of Dien Bien Phu 1 Battle of Dien Bien Phu The Battle of Dien Bien Phu (French: Bataille de Diên Biên Phu.[6] According to military scholar Phillip Davidson.[1] As a result of blunders in French decision-making. fighting later broke out between opposing Vietnamese factions in 1959. The Viet Minh. under Senior General Vo Nguyen Giap. who were unaware of the Viet Minh's possession of heavy artillery (including anti-aircraft guns) and their ability to move these weapons through difficult terrain to the mountain crests overlooking the French encampment. the left of centre Pierre Mendès France. a trusted colleague. resulting in the Vietnam (Second Indochina) War. They had set up fortified towns and outposts in the area. In 1953. Its purpose was to cut off Viet Minh supply lines into the neighboring Kingdom of Laos. Military historian Martin Windrow wrote that Dien Bien Phu was "the first time that a non-European colonial independence movement had evolved through all the stages from guerrilla bands to a conventionally organized and equipped army able to defeat a modern Western occupier in pitched battle". Those elections never took place .[3] Na San to the west of Hanoi. elections would be held to determine its future.

commander of Mobile Group 7 and Navarre's main planner. where his troops occupied the edge and the French the bottom. When presented with the plan. not as victors or heroes. the aerial resupply lines at Na San were never severed. They were going home. Giap made a mistake in Na San by committing his forces into reckless frontal attacks before being fully prepared. French staff officers disastrously failed to treat seriously several crucial differences between Dien Bien Phu and Na San. the initial airborne assault on Dien Bien Phu). "It was an attempt to interdict the enemy's rear area. Giap amassed anti-aircraft batteries that quickly shut down the runway and made it extremely difficult and costly for the French to bring in reinforcements. to establish a redoubt in the enemy's rear and disrupt his lines". the cold and professional soldier. however. The experience at Na San convinced Navarre of the viability of the fortified airhead concept. this meant a heavily fortified base capable of withstanding a siege. and air support to decimate the exposed Viet Minh forces. their artillery far exceeded French expectations and they outnumbered the French four-to-one. Third.[9] The hedgehog concept was based on French experiences at the Battle of Na San. At Dien Bien Phu. however. Second. Cogny pointed out. but intact.[14] Navarre rejected the criticisms of his proposal and concluded a November 17 conference by declaring that the operation would commence three days later. but then. every major subordinate officer protested.[8] This would effectively cut off Viet Minh soldiers fighting in Laos and force them to withdraw. to stop the flow of supplies and reinforcements. At Dien Bien Phu. the French commanded most of the high ground with overwhelming artillery support.[15] [16] . This would enable superior French artillery. not as clear losers either. armor. The French hoped that by repeating the strategy on a much larger scale. the problems of their successors.[11] At Dien Bien Phu.[10] Giap's forces were beaten back repeatedly with very heavy losses. as a "mooring point". At Na San. (commander of the French Air transport fleet).[7] formulated the hérisson ("hedgehog") concept. that "we are running the risk of a new Na San under worse conditions". Cogny. Colonel Jean-Louis Nicot. Wooden artillery pieces were built as decoys and the real guns were rotated every few salvos to confuse French counterbattery fire. to Navarre.[13] In another misunderstanding.[12] Giap compared Dien Bien Phu to a "rice bowl". on November 20. To them the important thing was that they were getting out of Indochina with their reputations frayed. proposed Dien Bien Phu. Lead up to Castor In June. despite Viet Minh anti-aircraft fire. or concern for. when the battle finally began.Battle of Dien Bien Phu intellectual. Colonel Louis Berteil. Navarre had been searching for a way to stop the Viet Minh threat to Laos. The French army would establish a fortified airhead by air-lifting soldiers adjacent to a key Viet Minh supply line to Laos. and generals Jean Gilles and Jean Dechaux (the ground and air commanders for Operation Castor. which had an old airstrip built by the Japanese during World War II. Giap attacked the French outpost at Na San. They gave little thought to. which was essentially an "air-land base". Giap would spend months meticulously stockpiling ammunition and emplacing heavy artillery and anti-aircraft guns before making his move. the Viet Minh knew exactly where the French artillery were. they would be able to lure Giap into committing the bulk of his forces in a massed assault.[6] 2 Na San and the hedgehog concept Simultaneously. a fortified camp supplied only by air. In late November and early December 1952. Major General René Cogny. Teams of Viet Minh volunteers were sent into the French camp to scout the disposition of the French artillery. while the French were not even aware of how many guns Giap possessed. was shocked by the "school's out" attitude of Salan and his senior commanders and staff officers. the Viet Minh controlled much of the high ground around the valley. Cogny had envisioned a lightly defended point from which to launch raids. Navarre selected Dien Bien Phu for the location of Berteil's "hedgehog" operation. commander of the Tonkin Delta. 1953. As a result. presciently.

and "Dominique" to the northeast. each allegedly named after a former mistress of de Castries. something for which de Castries was not suited. In Operation Castor.[26] The arrival of the 316th Viet Minh division prompted Cogny to order the evacuation of the Lai Chau garrison to Dien Bien Phu. exactly as Giap had anticipated. Navarre had picked de Castries. with positions "Huguette" to the west. captured or deserted". It was at this time that Giap began his counter-moves. but could not foresee when or where it would occur. The rest had been killed.Battle of Dien Bien Phu Navarre decided to go ahead with the operation. which he characterized as "a mediocre solution. and Simone. "Of the 2. 1953. 312th. northwest of .[27] The Viet Minh troops now converged on Dien Bien Phu. while the 308th. By the end of November.[19] Thus.[25] because Navarre envisioned Dien Bien Phu as a mobile battle. a bad one. headquartered at Dien Bien Phu.[24] On November 24. southeast of Dien Bien Phu. The choice of de Castries as the on-scene commander at Dien Bien Phu was. although the allegation is probably unfounded. They were landed at three drop zones: Natasha. which was impossible given the terrain in Vietnam.[21] 3 Establishment of the airhead Operations at Dien Bien Phu began at 10:35 on the morning of November 20. which was not executable given the number of troops at Navarres disposal. and 351st divisions assault Dien Bien Phu from Việt Bắc. Dien Bien Phu required someone adept at World War I-style trench warfare. "Beatrice" to the northeast. under the command of Colonel Christian de Castries. in retrospect. . only 185 made it to Dien Bien Phu on December 22. a static defense line stretching to Laos. The fortified headquarters was centrally located.[18] Navarre had previously considered three other ways to defend Laos: mobile warfare. Giap ordered the 148th Infantry Regiment and the 316th division to attack Lai Chau. the French would abandon Lai Chau Province and fight a pitched battle at Dien Bien Phu. a cavalryman in the 18th century tradition. as the names simply begin with the first eight letters of the alphabet.100 men who left Lai Chau on December 9. the only option left to Navarre was the hedgehog. their decision (which was drawn up on November 13) was not delivered to him until December 4. Giap realized that. the French National Defense Committee ultimately agreed that Navarre's responsibility did not include defending Laos. "Claudine" to the south. covering the reserve airstrip. reacted "instantly and effectively".[23] Initial operations proceeded well for the French.000 troops into the area over three days. two weeks after the Dien Bien Phu operation began. Other positions were "Anne-Marie" to the northwest. however. which was unworkable due to the distance from Hanoi to Luang Prabang and Vientiane. However. or placing troops in the Laotian provincial capitals and supplying them by air. "Gabrielle" to the north and "Isabelle" four miles (6 km) to the south. were absent that day. Giap had expected an attack. three of their four battalions. the French dropped or flew 9. the French.[22] The Viet Minh elite 148th Independent Infantry Regiment. southwest of Dien Bien Phu. they were virtually annihilated by the Viet Minh. En route."[20] In a twist of fate. despite operational difficulties which would later become painfully obvious (but at the time may have been less apparent)[17] because he had been repeatedly assured by his intelligence officers that the operation had very little risk of involvement by a strong enemy force.[24] Starting in December. In reality. Octavie. began transforming their anchoring point into a fortress by setting up seven positions. if pressed. six parachute battalions had been landed and the French were consolidating their positions.

Battle of Dien Bien Phu 4 The French had committed 10.800 troops. Artillery as well as ten M24 Chaffee light tanks and numerous aircraft were committed to the garrison. totaling five divisions including the 351st Chaffee light tanks. and locally recruited Indochinese infantry. All told. Algerian and Moroccan tirailleurs. The garrison comprised French regular troops (notably elite paratroop units plus artillery). Foreign Legionnaires. with more reinforcements totaling nearly 16. the Viet Minh had moved 50. and the French were now surrounded. The French came under sporadic Viet Minh artillery fire for the first time on January 31. Heavy Division. which was made up entirely of heavy artillery.S. which outnumbered the French artillery by about four to one. and French patrols encountered the Viet Minh in all directions.000 men. to the defense of a monsoon-affected valley surrounded by heavily wooded hills that had not been secured. made M24 surrounding the valley.[28] Artillery and AA (anti-aircraft) guns. .000 regular troops into the hills The French operated several U. The battle had been joined.[28] were moved into camouflaged positions overlooking the valley. 1954.

[29] Much to French disbelief. . but it was quickly beaten back by Viet Minh artillery. well-trained crews and good communications. was dangerously isolated. The attack began with a concentrated artillery barrage at 5:00 PM. as of March 1954. A few minutes later. generally held as being far French positions.[30] Navarre wrote that "Under the influence of Chinese advisers. The artillery had been dug in by single pieces … They were installed in shell-proof dugouts. commander of the entire northern sector. and rely on a forward artillery areas. went into his dugout and committed suicide with a hand grenade. the Viet Minh launched an attack on Gabrielle. The air strip. The Viet Minh 312th division then launched a massive infantry assault.[33] Any further French supplies would have to be delivered by parachute. 308th. From these out of direct line of sight. and fire point-blank from portholes … This way of using artillery and AA guns was possible only with the expansive ant holes at the disposal of the Vietminh and was to make shambles of all the estimates of our own artillerymen". the Viet Minh had a clear line of sight on the French fortifications and were able to accurately rain down artillery on the spotter). Despite their losses. French resistance at Beatrice collapsed shortly after midnight following a fierce battle. superior to direct fire. was also killed by Viet Minh artillery. the Viet Minh had employed The French disposition at Dien Bien Phu. already closed since 4:00 pm the day before due to a light bombardment. using sappers to defeat French obstacles. Roughly 500 French legionnaires were killed. The Viet Minh own artillery spotting (as opposed to indirect fire. in positioned their five divisions (the 304th. Colonel Jules Gaucher. Gabrielle Following a four-hour cease fire on the morning of March 14.200 wounded. the victory at Beatrice "galvanized the morale" of the Viet Minh troops. Viet Minh artillery opened a fierce bombardment of the fortification and French command was disrupted at 6:15 PM when a shell hit the French command post. Indirect artillery. 316th. killing Legionnaire commander Major Paul Pegot and his entire staff.[32] He was buried there in secret to prevent loss of morale among the French troops. Colonel Charles Piroth. Viet Minh losses totalled 600 dead and 1. Two regiments from the crack 308th division attacked starting at 8:00 PM.[34] That night.[29] The French launched a counter-attack against Beatrice the following morning. The direct artillery fire. requires experienced. in which each gun crew does its southernmost. held by an elite Algerian battalion. was now put permanently out of commission. 351st) in the surrounding areas to the north and east.[31] The French artillery commander. which the Viet Minh lacked.Battle of Dien Bien Phu 5 Combat operations Beatrice The Viet Minh assault began in earnest on 13 March 1954 with an attack on outpost Beatrice. Viet Minh artillery resumed pounding French positions. The French took up positions on a series of fortified hills. Isabelle. and which guns are massed farther away from the target. the Viet Minh commanders had used processes quite different from the classic methods. 312th. distraught at his inability to bring counterfire on the well-camouflaged Viet Minh batteries.

"It had become painfully evident to the senior officers within the encircled garrison—and even to Cogny at Hanoi—that de Castries was incompetent to conduct the defense of Dien Bien Phu.[38] On March 17.809 personnel.[43] . the bulk of the T'ais left or defected.[41] The French aerial resupply took heavy losses from Viet Minh machine guns near the landing strip. although he did exercise some command functions thereafter. and that Castries became "commander emeritus" who transmitted messages to Hanoi and offered advise about matters in Dien Bien Phu". but that Langlais would exercise it. On March 27. the attack was a complete success. in effect.[35] Although some elements of the counterattack reached Gabrielle. an event took place which would later become a matter of historical debate. an artillery shell hit the battalion headquarters. the French suffered from a serious crisis of command. Hanoi air transport commander Nicot ordered that all supply deliveries be made from 6500 feet (2000 m) or higher. and the Viet Minh between 1.[39] De Castries is said by Fall to have accepted the arrangement without protest. However. Dominique. the Algerian battalion fell back. Giap had distributed subversive propaganda leaflets. The French lost around 1.000 attacking the strongpoint. Cogny considered parachuting into the encircled garrison. but his staff talked him out of it. and Eliane).[42] De Castries ordered an attack against the Viet Minh machine guns two miles (3 km) west of Dien Bien Phu.[40] Jules Roy. They told him that he would retain the appearance of command. created a leadership vacuum within the French command. The Viet Minh further tightened the noose around the French central area (formed by the strongpoints Huguette. severely wounding the battalion commander and most of his staff. Even more critical. Phillip B. Both historians record that Langlais and Marcel Bigeard were known to be on good relations with their commanding officer. Colonel Pierre Langlais. most were paralyzed by Viet Minh artillery and took heavy losses. effectively cutting off Isabelle and its 1. under the cover of fog.[36] Lull March 17 through March 30 saw a lull in fighting. in forming the counterattack. abandoning Gabrielle to the Viet Minh. and Martin Windrow argues that the "paratrooper putsch" is unlikely to have happened. chose to rely on the 5th Vietnamese Parachute battalion. On March 24. relinquished his command authority". after the fall of the northern outposts. members of a Vietnamese ethnic minority loyal to the French. telling the T'ais that this was not their fight. The fall of Beatrice and Gabrielle had severely demoralized them. Cogny attempted to fly into Dien Bien Phu and take command.000 men defending Gabrielle. while the French lost 20.Battle of Dien Bien Phu At 4:00 AM the following morning. which had jumped in the day before and was exhausted.[35] 6 Anne-Marie Anne-Marie was defended by T'ai troops.[34] De Castries ordered a counterattack to relieve Gabrielle. On the morning of March 17.[37] During this lull. he isolated himself in his bunker so that he had. combined with his superiors' inability to replace him.000 and 2.[38] De Castries' seclusion in his bunker. however. The French and the few remaining T'ais on Anne-Marie were then forced to withdraw. all fully armed. confronted de Castries in his bunker on March 24. losses were expected to remain heavy. that Colonel Langlais and his fellow paratroop commanders. Remarkably. with 350 Viet Minh soldiers killed and seventeen AA machine guns destroyed. Historian Bernard Fall records. At 8:00 AM the next day. but his plane was driven off by anti-aircraft fire. based on Langlais' memoirs. Davidson states that "The truth would seem to be that Langlais did take over effective command of Dien Bien Phu. Claudine. makes no mention of this event. For weeks.

but the Viet Minh launched their own renewed assault. Africans. the French launched a fierce counterattack against Eliane 2. the Viet Minh 312th division captured Dominique 1 and 2. and recaptured half of it. Vietnamese.[46] Just after midnight on the 31st.[44] Giap planned to use the tactics from the Beatrice and Gabrielle skirmishes. The Viet Minh briefly captured Huguette 7. the 316th division attacked Eliane 2. saying "As long as I have one man alive I won't let go of Eliane 4. and T'ais. Bigeard refused. using virtually "everybody left in the garrison who could be trusted to fight". Another group of French. near the airfield. Just as it appeared. only to be pushed back by a French counterattack at dawn on the 1st.Battle of Dien Bien Phu 7 March 30 – April 5 assaults Further information: Operation Condor (1954) The next phase of the battle saw more massed Viet Minh assaults against French positions in the central Dien Bien Phu area – at Eliane and Dominique in particular. to fall back across the river.[45] The Viet Minh were more successful in their simultaneous attacks elsewhere. The positions in Eliane Dominique 3 the final outpost between saw some of the most intense combat of the entire battle. forcing the Viet Minh to retreat. opened fire on the Viet Minh with anti-aircraft machine guns.[47] Reinforcements were sent north from Isabelle. and helped push the Viet Minh back. and nearly succeeded in breaking through. Otherwise. fell back from both positions late in the afternoon. . Langlais told Major Marcel Bigeard. Shortly after dark on the 31st. and half of Eliane 2 by midnight.[46] The counterattacks allowed the French to retake Dominique 2 and Eliane 1.[48] The night of the 31st.[49] The French deployed a small number of M24 Chaffee light tanks during the battle that proved critical in repelling the enemy attacks. Dien Bien Phu is done for". composed of a mixture of Frenchmen. making The central French positions at Dien Bien Phu in late March 1954. blasting huge holes in their ranks. the French were about to be overrun. At 7:00 PM on March 30. but a French sergeant took charge of the defenders and sealed the breach. who were exhausted and without reserves. but were attacked en route and fell back to Isabelle. Smaller attacks on Eliane 4 were also pushed back.[45] At this point. setting its 105 mm howitzers to zero elevation and firing directly on the Viet Minh attackers. a few French tanks arrived. Those two areas were held by five understrength battalions. The 316th division captured Eliane 1 from its Moroccan defenders. Legionnaires. the Viet Minh and the French general headquarters. Langlais ordered another counterattack the following afternoon against Dominique 2 and Eliane 1. The French. as well as outflanking all positions east of the river. the French 4th colonial artillery regiment entered the fight. the 308th attacked Huguette 7. who was leading the defense at Eliane.[46] On the other side of Dien Bien Phu.

on April 18. for the first time. but not nearly enough to replace French casualties.[56] This caused the landing zone to become perilously small. and Huguette 5. 8 Trench warfare On April 5. During the stalemate. the Viet Minh detonated a mine shaft. followed by small unit infiltration attacks. the Viet Minh took control of more than 90% of the airfield. after a long night of battle. By the end of April. The loss of Eliane 1 eleven days earlier had posed a significant threat to Eliane 4. the soldier will go uncared for". and overran the fort on the morning of April 22. massive artillery barrage. but had to be carried out by lone planes at irregular times to avoid excessive casualties from Viet Minh anti-aircraft fire. Dominique 3. which convinced Langlais to abandon Huguette 6.[59] This barrage defeated the first assault wave.[49] Some reinforcements did arrive. with one stating that "Nothing strikes at combat morale like the knowledge that if wounded.[57] A French attack against Huguette 1 later that day was repulsed. The Viet Minh attacked again. blowing Eliane 2 up. On May 6. the French intercepted enemy radio messages which told of whole units refusing orders to attack. Isabelle had exhausted its water supply and was nearly out of ammunition. The dawn attack. A few hours later that night. the Viet Minh launched another massed attack against Eliane 2.[29] The French also used an innovation. but only a few managed to make it to French lines. Repeated attempts to reinforce the French garrison by parachute drops were made. At that point. Eliane 1 changed hands several times that day. so that artillery rounds fired from different positions would strike on target at the same time. Although Giap still had the same objective – to overrun French defenses east of the river – he decided to employ entrenchment and sapping to try to achieve it. Giap called in fresh reinforcements from Laos. although the French managed to beat back attacks on Eliane 2. Isabelle Isabelle saw only desultory action until March 30. and Communist prisoners said that they were told to advance or be shot by the officers and noncommissioned officers behind them. Giap decided to change tactics. The goal was to resupply Huguette 6 with water and ammunition.Battle of Dien Bien Phu Fighting continued in this manner over the next several nights. During the fighting at Eliane 1. the Viet Minh entrenchments had almost entirely surrounded Huguette 1 and 6.[54] [55] The Viet Minh repeated the isolation and probing attacks against Huguette 1. The French artillery fired with a "TOT" (Time On Target) attack. the Viet Minh lacked advanced medical care.[58] Final attacks The Viet Minh launched a massed assault against the exhausted defenders on the night of May 1. when the Viet Minh succeeded in isolating it and beating back the attempt to send reinforcements north. French fighter-bombers and artillery inflicted particularly devastating losses on one Viet Minh regiment which was caught on open ground. but by the next morning the French had control of the strongpoint. only to be beaten back.[51] At this point. and the French wanted to eliminate that threat. The attacks were repeated on the nights of the 14–15th and 16–17th. and effectively choked off much needed supplies. and within a few hours had overrun the defenders. The attack included. Katyusha rockets. Following a failed attempt to link up. Following a massive artillery barrage against Isabelle on March 30. The Viet Minh attempted to retake it on the evening of April 12. was preceded by a short. the defenders at Huguette 6 made a daring break out. the Viet Minh began employing the same trench warfare tactics against Isabelle that they were using against the central camp. which Bigeard devised.[60] . the garrison of Huguette 1 attacked. the French suffered heavy casualties. With the fall of Huguette 1.[50] April 10 saw the French attempt to retake Eliane 1. The Viet Minh repeatedly attacked Eliane 2. making accurate parachute drops impossible. but were pushed back. followed by mopping-up operations. on the other side of camp. overrunning Eliane 1. the morale of the Viet Minh soldiers was greatly lowered.[52] Worse still.[53] To avert the crisis. and was joined by artillery from the garrison of Claudine. On April 11. While they did succeed in getting some supplies through.

This arrangement proved tenuous and would escalate into the Vietnam War (Second Indochina War). de Castries radioed French headquarters in Hanoi and talked with Cogny. The resulting agreement temporarily partitioned Vietnam into two zones: the North was administered by the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam while the South was administered by the French-supported State of Vietnam. all French central positions had been captured. The last units of the French Union forces withdrew from Indochina in 1956. The North was supported by both communist China and the Soviet Union. The prisoners were divided into groups. and heaped with abuse. Ho Chi Minh entered the conference on the opening day with the news of his troops' victory in the headlines. of 1. .000 American troops into South Vietnam.[65] The prisoners. a similar attempt later the same night saw about 70 troops. Vive la France!" That night the garrison made a breakout attempt. This partition was supposed to be temporary. The combat is confused and goes on all about. The Geneva Conference (1954) opened on May 8. but we will fight to the finish. were starved. on 8 May] the day after the surrender of the garrison. beaten."[25] By nightfall. in the Camerone tradition. removed 858. of whom 4. At 5:00 PM. Indo-China. which opposed the Geneva agreement. The situation is very grave. discussed Korea.[62] This was the greatest number the Viet Minh had ever captured: one-third of the total captured during the entire war.863 survivors held as prisoners. Able-bodied soldiers were force-marched over 250 miles (400 km) to prison camps to the north and east. and many died. the Viet Minh counted 11.[68] The defeat seriously weakened the position and prestige of the French as previously planned negotiations over the future of Indochina began. It is out of the question to run up the white flag after your heroic resistance. I feel the end is approaching. eventually bringing 500.[61] 9 Aftermath Prisoners On May 8.[63] where they were intermingled with Viet Minh soldiers to discourage French bombing runs.[66] Of 10. Giap ordered an all out attack against the remaining French units with over 25." Cogny: "Of course you will fight to the end. However at Isabelle.[67] Political ramifications The garrison constituted roughly a tenth of the total French Union manpower in Indochina. Those wounded who were not evacuated by the Red Cross were sent into detention. none succeeded in escaping the valley. French survivors of the battle at Dien Bien Phu. We are blowing up everything. While some of the main body managed to break out. and reached the second agenda item. and provided better aid to the remainder. the losses figure may include the 3.[62] However. The last radio transmission from the French headquarters reported that enemy troops were directly outside the headquarters bunker and that all the positions have been overrun.700 men in the garrison. and which claimed that Ho Chi Minh's forces from the North had been killing Northern patriots and terrorizing people both in the North and the South.000 garrison troops.436 were wounded. The radio operator in his last words stated: "The enemy has overrun us. only 3.Battle of Dien Bien Phu On May 7.000 Viet Minh against fewer than 3. under Emperor Bao Dai and Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem.721 prisoners.013 prisoners of Vietnamese origin whose eventual fate is unknown. After the French withdrawal.290 were officially repatriated four months later. De Castries: "The Viets are everywhere. the United States supported the southern government. and the two zones were meant to be reunited through national elections in 1956.[64] Hundreds died of disease on the way. escape to Laos. The wounded were given basic first aid until the Red Cross arrived. [The conference opened n 26 April.

Following a request for help from Henri Navarre. seriously damaged its prestige elsewhere in its colonial empire. the Algerian War started. South Vietnam. following the French occupation of Dien Bien Phu but prior to the battle. "Nobody is more opposed to intervention than I am". Radford concluded that it was too late for the U. the Catroux Commission. Senators and House Representatives questioned the American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 10 American participation Further information: Operation Vulture According to the Mutual Defense Assistance Act. John Foster Dulles was reported to have mentioned the possibility of lending atomic bombs to the French for use at Dien Bien Phu. A proposal for direct intervention was unanimously voted down by the panel. were killed in action during the siege of Dien Bien Phu. the seven still living American pilots were awarded the French Legion of Honor by Jean-David Levitte. a 1992 docudrama film—with several autobiographical parts—in conjunction with the Vietnamese army by Dien Bien Phu veteran French director Pierre Schoendoerffer.[76] and a similar source claims that British Foreign Secretary Sir Anthony Eden was aware of the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons in that region. coupled with the German destruction of her armies just 14 years earlier. which "concluded that intervention was a positive act of war". Radford provided two squadrons of B-26 Invader bomber aircraft to support the French. Within her empire.[72] On February 25.S. President Dwight D. Air Force maintenance crews. Gabrielle. the United States provided the French with material aid during the battle – aircraft (supplied by the USS Saipan). the French ambassador to the United States. In 1954. Radford. 37 American transport pilots flew 682 sorties over the course of the battle.Battle of Dien Bien Phu France's defeat in Indochina. as well as with its NATO allies. however. a number of factors were significantly different from the siege of Dien Bien Phu. weapons. The battle was depicted in Dien Bien Phu. and by 1956 both Moroccan and Tunisian protectorates had gained independence.[71] Two of the American pilots. the North Vietnamese Army (still under Giap's command) made an apparent attempt to repeat their success at Dien Bien Phu. A French board of inquiry.[71] Earlier. would later investigate the defeat. Democratic senator Mike Mansfield asked United States Defense Secretary Charles Erwin Wilson whether the United States would send naval or air units if the French were subjected to greater pressure there. Subsequently. during the Vietnam War. Khe Sanh was much closer to an American supply base (45 km/28 mi) compared to a French one at Dien Bien Phu (200 km/120 mi).[71] The role that the American pilots played in this battle had remained little known until 2004.[75] Moreover.[69] On March 31. intentionally avoided overt direct intervention. Air Force to save the French garrison.. Eisenhower also stated. At Khe Sanh. by a siege and artillery bombardment on the U."[73] [74] The French author Jules Roy also suggests that Admiral Radford discussed with the French the possibility of using nuclear weapons in support of the French garrison. Marine Corps infantry and artillery base at Khe Sanh.[77] Khe Sanh In January 1968.[69] The United States. and Anne-Marie. following the fall of Beatrice. a panel of U.S. the defeat in Indochina served to spur independence movements in other colonies. Historians are divided on whether this was a genuine attempt to force the surrender of that Marine base. and U. or else a diversion from the rest of the Tết Offensive. 2005. General Chester McCarty made available 12 additional C-119 Flying Boxcars flown by French crews. In February 1954. about the possibility of American involvement. notably the North African territories from which many of the troops who fought at Dien Bien Phu had been recruited. the United States.[70] The United States did covertly participate in the battle. Jr. but Wilson replied that "for the moment there is no justification for raising United States aid above its present level". Wallace Buford and James McGovern. most importantly. 24 CIA/CAT pilots. in order to succeed the pre-Dien Bien Phu Operation Castor of November 1953. Admiral Arthur W. six months after the battle at Dien Bien Phu ended.S.S. The "American historian Erik Kirsinger researched the case for more than a year to establish the facts.[78] . or an example of the North Vietnamese Army keeping its options open. mechanics.

[82] When the siege ended. By contrast. 184 [17] Windrow. 173 [9] Bruce Kennedy. the Viet Minh sent the surviving Vietnamese women for "re-education". 1954-05-17. January 4. Air Force planes had flown 9. 15 September 2011 [3] Fall. The Other Empire. 9 [5] Fall. 228. Kenney. episode 4/5. Geneviève de Galard. 2005.Battle of Dien Bien Phu At Khe Sanh.015 tons of munitions. Navy planes.S. . Michael. html). whereas during 167 days that the French forces at Dien Bien Phu held out. at Dien Bien Phu. but Michael Kenney and Bernard Fall maintaining that it was added by outside press agencies. the French artillery (six 105 mm batteries and one battery of four 155 mm howitzers and mortars[79] ) were only sporadically effective.S.860710.9171.[80] Khe Sanh received 18. 33 [16] Davidson. 189 [19] Davidson. 212.00.000 tons. 224 [13] Davidson. "British Historian Takes a Brilliant Look at French Fall in Vietnam". 194 [23] Davidson. [2] Julian Jackson. served by Algerian and Vietnamese women. One of them. com/ time/ magazine/ article/ 0. 11 French women at Dien Bien Phu Many of the flights operated by the French Air force to evacuate casualties had female flight nurses on board. 24 [11] Davidson.S. However historians disagree regarding this moniker. Boston Globe. 48 [6] Davidson.[81] The French forces came to Dien Bien Phu accompanied by two bordels mobiles de campagne. many of which had been redirected from the Operation Rolling Thunder bombing campaign against North Vietnam.691 tactical sorties and dropped 14. 165 [7] Fall. ("mobile field brothels"). 203 . cnn. A total of 15 women served on flights to Dien Bien Phu.337 sorties and dropped 7.[83] Notes [1] Quotation from Martin Windrow. with Martin Windrow maintaining that Galard was referred to by this name by the garrison itself. U.[80] By the end of the battle of Khe Sanh. 275 [18] Davidson.098 missions and dropped 17. 196 [25] "The Fall of Dienbienphu" (http:/ / www. 199 [27] Davidson. time. BBC Radio Three. 21 [15] Roy. 186 [20] Davidson. and their artillery forced the North Vietnamese to use their own artillery from a much greater distance. p211. war/ episodes/ 11/ spotlight/ ) [10] Fall. U.223 tons of munitions on targets within the Khe Sanh area. [26] Davidson.941 tons of ordnance on the enemy. Time. flew 5. Marine Corps planes had flown 7.000 tons in aerial resupplies during the 30-day battle. Marines held the high ground. 147 [12] Davidson. She remained on the ground providing medical services in the field hospital until the surrender. U.S. com/ SPECIALS/ cold. 182 [14] Roy. first broadcast. 44 [8] Davidson. CNN Cold War Special: 1954 battle changed Vietnam's history (http:/ / www. She was later referred to as the "Angel of Dien Bien Phu". the U. 23 [4] Fall. was stranded at Dien Bien Phu when her plane was destroyed by shellfire while being repaired on the airfield. 187 [21] Davidson. 193 [24] Davidson. 176 [22] Davidson. they received only 4.

163 [69] Roy. [74] Burns. 25. 2004 [68] "The French Far East Expeditionary Corps numbered 175. 306 [77] Fall. Les Pertes Humaines. htm). 2006. 441-444. 177 Davidson. 260 [56] Fall. 210 Davidson. 270 [57] Davidson. Retrieved on January 12. Davidson.org. 243 Windrow. org/ IMG/ pdf/ nff/ NFF0502. 279 Davidson. 2006. 265 [52] Davidson. p. Agence France Presse. 237 Davidson.org. htm). dienbienphu. 269 [62] "Breakdown of losses suffered at Dien Bien Phu" (http:/ / www. 257 [54] Davidson. org/ english/ html/ bataille/ losses. 140 [70] Roy. 262 [61] Davidson. check-six. dienbienphu. Simpson Davidson. Pilots Honored For Indochina Service [72] Check-Six.S. 225 Windrow. Associated Press Worldstream. 429 [65] The Long March (http:/ / www. org/ english/ html/ captivite/ camp_n1.org. 2005. February 16. 244–245 Davidson. 244 Davidson. . Retrieved August 24.com . org/ english/ html/ captivite/ captivity.Battle of Dien Bien Phu [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] Davidson. pilots for Dien Bien Phu role".S. 9 [81] Fall. 253 12 [50] Davidson. 198 [76] Fall. [63] "The Long March" (http:/ / www. 260 [59] Davidson. 2005 [75] Roy. 238 Davidson. dienbienphu. entre Histoire et Mémoire. U. dienbienphu. 480 [80] Rottman. 2009 [66] "At camp #1" (http:/ / www. 247 Davidson. Note 53 .org. . 223 Davidson. org/ english/ html/ captivite/ long_walk. 2006. 1954–2004: La Bataille de Dien Bien Phu. Retrieved August 24. 236 Davidson. 211 [71] Embassy of France in the USA. 246 Davidson.000 soldiers" – Davidson. htm). 240–241 Fall.S. Robert. dienbienphu. dienbienphu. 307 [78] Rottman. 254–255 [51] Davidson. 261 [60] Davidson.The Shootdown of "Earthquake McGoon" (http:/ / www. 190 [82] Windrow P673. 258 [55] Fall. aviators will get French award for heroism in epic Asian battle". . 245 Davidson. [67] Jean-Jacques Arzalier. Feb. 2005 (http:/ / ambafrance-us. dienbienphu. February 25. 412 Dien Bien Phu: the epic battle America forgot By Howard R. 256 [53] Davidson. 259 [58] Davidson. 8 [79] Fall. 227 Navarre. 239 Fall. htm). htm) [73] "France honors U. 248 Roy. pdf). Société française d'histoire d'outre-mer. Dienbienphu. com/ Crash_Sites/ CAT-149_McGoon. Retrieved August 24. [64] Fall. "Covert U.

External links • Dien Bien Phu (http://www. (2005). Phillip (1988). The Battle of Dienbienphu. • Memorial-Indochine. International Herald Tribune. Dien Bien Phu" (http:/ / web. Jules (2002). php) on 8 February 2008. • Stone. Oxford: Osprey Publishing (UK). • Rottman. Archived from the original (http:/ / www.edu/caah/history/ FacultyPages/EdMoise/1954.org).com/ 20thcentury/articles/dienbienphu.9171.org/wgbh/peoplescentury/episodes/guerrillawars/ giaptranscript.php) • An Analysis of the French Defeat at Dien Bien Phu (http://www. ISBN 1-85753-372-0.org/military/library/report/1991/ FRF.B. "Au revoir. Martin (2004).militaryhistoryonline. ISBN 0-306-81386-6. ISBN 1-84176-863-4. com/ articles/ 2004/ 04/ 01/ edpringle_ed3_. Lippincott Company. • Roy. Jules.dienbienphu.org/1_en_pourquoi. (1967).dienbienphu. ISBN 0-88184-034-3. Paris: Plon. New York: Harper & Row.archive. archive.html).com/magazines/vietnam/3030251.html) . Robert.html) • Battle of Dien Bien Phu.aspx) by Bob Seals • ANAPI's official website (http://www.globalsecurity. 13 References • Davidson. Retrieved 2006-12-08.org/military/library/report/ 1991/BHD. David (2004). iht. OCLC 23431451. ISBN 0-306-80231-7. Bernard B.pbs. Fall (http://web.htm) • An interview with Vo Nguyen Giap (http://www. Time. The Last Valley.globalsecurity.com/time/magazine/article/0.historynet. ISBN 0-19-506792-4. London: Brassey's UK. . Vietnam at War.htm) • Airlift's Role at Dien Bien Phu and Khe Sanh (http://www. Dien Bien Phu. php).memorial-indochine. • "The Fall of Dienbienphu" (http://www. Khe Sanh (1967–1968) – Marines battle for Vietnam's vital hilltop base. The Battle of Dienbienphu.asso.militaryhistoryonline. Baldick.time. Henri (1958) (in French). Retrieved 23 February 2008. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers. an article by Bernard B.html) • Dien Bien Phu: A Battle Assessment (http://www. Hell in a Very Small Place. ISBN 0-7867-0958-8. • "Ðiên Biên Phú – The "official and historical site" of the battle" (http://www.anapi.com/vietnam/articles/dienbienphu.clemson. aspx) by David Pennington • "Peace" in a Very Small Place: Dien Bien Phu 50 Years Later (http://www.fr/en) (National Association of Former POWs in Indochina) • Bibliography: Dien Bien Phu and the Geneva Conference (http://www. com/ articles/ 2004/ 04/ 01/ edpringle_ed3_. Agonie de l'Indochine.org in English (http://www. • Windrow. org/ web/ 20080208195657/ http:/ / www. New York: J. New York: Da Capo Press. James (1 April 2004). • Roy.Battle of Dien Bien Phu [83] Pringle. • Navarre. Gordon L. New York: Oxford University Press.00. 1954-05-17. iht.org/) Site dedicated to the battle. The Siege of Dien Bien Phu.860710. • Fall.org/web/20071216092215rn_1/ www.. OCLC 263986.

dailymotion. 2004) (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/ xcovoq_dien-bien-phu-commentaire-audio-sch_news) • (French) Testimonial of General Giap. 2004) (http://www. 50 years after the battle (May 3rd.com/video/x2082a_john-foster-dulles-on-the-fall-of-d) • (English) Dien Bien Phu Episode From Ten Thousand Day War Documentary (http://www. 50 years after the battle (May 5th.com/ watch?v=th7tImvzutc) Retrospectives (video) • (English) English subtitled (Closed Captions) scene from the "Dien Bien Phu" docudrama by Schoendoerffer (1992) (http://www.com/video/xcpdkx_portrait-de-jean-peraud-par-schoend_news) War reports (Picture galleries and captions) • (French) The battle of Dien Bien Phu (http://www.dailymotion. com/video/x2059h_bigeard-et-dien-bien-phu) • (French) Testimonial of Corporal Schoendoerffer.youtube.dailymotion.ecpad. 1954) (http://www.dailymotion.com/ video/x203x5_50e-anniversaire-de-dien-bien-phu) • (French) Testimonial of General Bigeard.000 strong Hmong partisans en route to Dien Bien Phu for a rescue mission in April 1954 (2000) (http://www. 50 years after the battle (May 7th. dailymotion. dailymotion.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles on the fall of Dien Bien Phu (May 7th.com/video/ x1ziw4_dien-bien-phu-051954) • (English) U.Battle of Dien Bien Phu 14 Media links Newsreels (video) • (English) The News Magazine of the Screen (May 1954) (http://www.fr/tag/thema_dien_bien_phu) .youtube.com/watch?v=9n0Tc_9NN3A) • (French) Archive radio calls between General Cogny & Colonel de Castries (1954) + 2 commented scenes from Schoendoerffer's docudrama (1992) (http://www. 2004) (http://www.com/video/x1zjot_dien-bien-phu-schoendoerffer_news) • (English) Archive footages of Colonel Sassi and his 2.

Ardfern. Galoubet. Newone. Hunter1084. Hibernian. Nyenyec. David Kernow. Pearle. Donn A Mounted combat in Vietnam.png  Source: http://en. Saruman89. Megapixie. Professortimithy. License Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3. Vacancy.delanoy. Vtguy4242. Infrogmation. Guimard. Ybbor. Jackfork. Outriggr. Ezeu. Hans yulun lai.php?title=File:Dien_Bien_Phu_zoom. Tiptoety. Robertgreer. Hashar. Amore Mio. Axl. 507 anonymous edits Image Sources. Piledhigheranddeeper. D6. Pion. Colonies Chris. Jeltz. CopperSquare. Raul654. MJCdetroit. DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. Zscout370. Ling. Lilmeh. Timwi. Bongwarrior. Trip Johnson. Marcika.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Starry. Amandajm. Kesac.Article Sources and Contributors 15 Article Sources and Contributors Battle of Dien Bien Phu  Source: http://en. Takima. Juliancolton.php?title=File:French_M24s_atr_Dien_Bien_Phu. A. Kaganer. Ionius Mundus. El C. Tazmaniacs. Ulyssesmsu. Glacierfairy. MacsBug. Bender235. Jim G. Emersoni. MithrandirMage. MarsRover. Ed Moise. McSly. Curps. Charbroil. Tronno. Flaming. Mercenary2k. John Prattley. J d noonan. Ortolan88. Ludde23. Hvatum. SietskeEN. SimonP. Blofeld. Hmains. Diderot. Mxn. Passeportoo. Licenses and Contributors File:French M24 Chaffee Vietnam. YellowMonkey. Robdumas. Unyounyo. Fumitol. Jaffer. Tom743. PFHLai. Millosh. ManfromButtonwillow. Happyexplorer. ThierryVignaud. Kirill Lokshin. JamesBWatson. Snowdog. Gaius Cornelius. Sugarcaddy.0/ . Brighterorange. Davecampbell. Rocket000. Someone else. Paullepaulle. FreplySpang. Le Anh-Huy. Sietse Snel. Chris the speller. CBDunkerson. SoLando. Segregator236. Magnet For Knowledge. WorldWideSquid. Pyrobob. GeneralPatton. It Is Me Here. Anthere. PL290. Gazpacho. Kirill Lokshin. Buckshot06. Cliché Online. PainMan. Altus N. Maralia. EncMstr. Kevin Myers. Duffman. Netsnipe. Llywrch. Wesley. Wangi. Glane23. Alex. NelsonLB. RG2.Nut.muller. Wik. Bbpen.wikipedia. TheSaneLunatic. The ed17. Tony1.svg  License: GNU Free Documentation License  Contributors: Erik Warmelink. Raul654. Tony1992.muskrats. QuiteUnusual. MastCell. Vardion. Auntof6. Jiujitsuguy. Tridungvo. RASAM. Matt01. Wayward. Edward. Malo. अभय नातू. FreeRangeFrog. Christopher Mahan. Mahanga. Look2See1. Paul Barlow.php?title=File:Dien_Bein_Phu_map. Shermozle. Truong Son. Tim R. GCarty. Murphy11.org/w/index. Keno. Per Honor et Gloria. Nae'blis.. Medvedenko. Reenem. Sinclair45. General Grievous. DHN. Gavin. Eatmyfrenchfry. GABaker. Deckiller. Tim!. ThaddeusB.0 Unported //creativecommons. Antandrus. Ericg. Gdr.jpg  Source: http://en. Hbrockett. AHM. HTO. PatGallacher. Writtenright. The Eye of Timaeus. Simoes. AdrianCo. James Bartosik. Ink Runner. NuclearWarfare.org/w/index. ECPADcommunication. Ericoides. Senator. Rebecca. DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY File:Dien Bein Phu map.png  License: GNU Free Documentation License  Contributors: Chaoborus. Carty. Szopen. Gtadoc.wikipedia. Raul654 File:French M24s atr Dien Bien Phu. J. Pwt898. Dekimasu.jpg  Source: http://en. Danaman5. ArglebargleIV. Aim Here. MarcelLionheart. Ronline. Gilgamesh he. Lir. Carlson288. ^demon. RobertG. Cerejota. Jose Ramos. Mxn. LeonidasSpartan. Xyl 54. Jackus16. Proofreader. Ciphers. Mkpumphrey. Louisducnguyen.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Starry.org/w/index. Sandip90.org/w/index. Pinkville. Soulpatch. UBeR. Milksponge. Tucu Mann. Funnyhat. Henry Flower. Howcheng. Robert1947. Utcursch. LoneWolf7777777. Hq3473. Johnanth. Adrian. FrummerThanThou. Cmdrjameson. Hjr. Bnguyen. Paris By Night. Fieldday-sunday.wikipedia. Lightmouse. AxelBoldt. Dougofborg. Dj6867. Klemen Kocjancic.wikipedia. EchetusXe. Cyclonenim. Michael Devore. Ozhiker. Cj tyche. Alansohn. Lemmey. Esprix. Thomas81. Altus Quansuvn. Kassjab. CrniBombarder!!!. Albino Ibis2. Nbarth. Esperant. Paul tavatgis. Sluzzelin. Sayerslle.org/licenses/by-sa/3. Leminh91. Cuye. Srich32977. EnthusiastFRANCE. Dr. Maury Markowitz.php?oldid=465271729  Contributors: 1297. Hoangvanthai. Nabokov. Fallschirmjägergewehr 42. Afernand74. Carbuncle.gravett. ReidarM. Fourthords. RPellessier. Donn A Mounted combat in Vietnam. Chester320. Xanderer. DavidRobertson. Dennette. Tempodivalse. Darklilac. Kevin W. Kmmontandon.org/w/index. BD2412. Spon.svg  Source: http://en. Miss Madeline. Shadowjams. 2 anonymous edits File:Dien Bien Phu zoom. Jose77. TheMadBaron. Ed Poor. SandyGeorgia. Anotherclown. Badgerpatrol. Trasder. Albrecht. Addshore. Shame On You.collins. Rmhermen. DrKiernan. Carl Logan. Kaszeta.wikipedia. Jtedder1967. Shreshth91. Miguel Andrade. Dstlascaux. Kinh Duong Vuong. Martin Kozák. Caltas. Nitya Dharma. LeonidasSpartan. Elijahmeeks. Kchishol1970.php?title=File:French_M24_Chaffee_Vietnam. DavisGL. Richard David Ramsey. Str1977. OwenBlacker. Dadofsam. JamesAM. MiniAWACS. HanzoHattori. Canpark. Smtih. Danny. MisterSheik. Mav. Oxymoron83. Epbr123. Tranholm. Igodard. Chris Roy. Saga City. Art LaPella. ObeyScient. Hotlorp. Wbakker2. Philip Baird Shearer. SGGH.

Vietnam War 1 Vietnam War The Vietnam War[1] was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam. and the government of South Vietnam. Laos.[3] The Viet Cong (also known as the National Liberation Front. service members also died in the conflict. and the Viet Cong. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from less than one million[7] to more than three million. government viewed involvement in the war as a way to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam as part of their wider strategy of containment. Vietnam War is the most commonly used name in English. the war is known as Chiến tranh Việt Nam (The Vietnam War). As there have been so many conflicts in Indochina.[18] Thus. U. After this. Operations spanned international borders.S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U. puppet state.S. fought initially against France.S. The Vietnam People's Army (North Vietnamese Army) engaged in a more conventional war. the Vietnam People's Army (VPA) (also known as the North Vietnamese Army. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam.S. at times committing large units into battle. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities (see Vietnam War casualties). on the other side. with Laos and Cambodia heavily bombed.S.000 Cambodians. the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) and the U. artillery. largely fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. at the time of the Tet Offensive. and Cambodia from 1 November 1955[2] to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. U. . in Vietnamese. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations. and North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year.S. a South Vietnamese communist guerrilla force. and airstrikes. ground forces were gradually withdrawn as part of a policy known as Vietnamization. combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. and later against South Vietnam.[4] American military advisors arrived in what was then French Indochina beginning in 1950. fighting continued.[] Names for the War Further information: Terminology of the Vietnam War Various names have been applied to the conflict. involvement escalated in the early 1960s. American involvement in the war peaked in 1968.S. which it regarded as a U. or NVA).[12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] and 58. signed by all parties in January 1973. It has also been called the Second Indochina War. backed by the U.[6] The capture of Saigon by the Vietnam People's Army in April 1975 marked the end of the war. and the Vietnam Conflict. or as Kháng chiến chống Mỹ (Resistance War Against America). loosely translated as the American War. U. supported by its communist allies.220 U. or National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF).000–300. on one side. this conflict is known by the name of their chief opponent to distinguish it from the others. The U.000 Laotians. Despite the Paris Peace Accords. and..[9] [10] [11] 20.S. involving ground forces.[19] The main military organizations involved in the war were.S.[5] U.S. a lightly armed South Vietnamese communist-controlled common front. with troop levels tripling in 1961 and tripling again in 1962.000–200. U. or NLF). military. The North Vietnamese government and Viet Cong viewed the conflict as a colonial war. supported by the United States and other anti-communist nations.S.[8] Some 200. Congress.

[24] [25] During World War II. the Viet Minh in March 1945 urged the population to ransack rice warehouses and refuse to pay their taxes. In spite of military resistance. under Bảo Đại. weapons. The U. For French Indochina. concluded in 1884.[32] . 1945. which was founded in 1941. and kept Vichy French officials and military officers imprisoned for a month after the surrender. allies of the German-Italian Axis powers.[32] This rebellion against the effects of the famine and the authorities that were partially responsible for it bolstered the Viet Minh's popularity and they recruited many members during this period. The French continued to run affairs in the colony. the right to be Free. The Creator has given us certain inviolable Rights: the right to Life. During 1944–1945.[32] In an overture to the Americans.[23] Various Vietnamese opposition movements to French rule existed during this period.S. or soldiers to immediately retake Vietnam. the Empire of Vietnam.[30] In August 1945. and the Soviet Union.[24] The Viet Minh was founded as a league for independence from France. the major allied victors of World War II.[32] However. formed the basis for French colonial rule in Vietnam for the next seven decades. all agreed the area belonged to the French.[33] After their defeat in the war. Fearing that they could no longer trust the French authorities. and funded by the U. the Japanese had been defeated and surrendered unconditionally. and the Chinese Nationalist Party in its fight against Japanese occupation. a deep famine struck northern Vietnam due to a combination of bad weather and French/Japanese exploitation.000 in Hanoi on 2 September 1945. The Việt Minh had recruited more than 600 Japanese soldiers and given them roles to train or command Vietnamese soldiers.[34] [35] Ho Chi Minh declared the independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam before a crowd of 500. such as the Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang who staged the failed Yen Bai mutiny in 1930. and Chinese Nationalist Party supported them in the fight against the Japanese. 1 million people died of starvation (out of a population of 10 million in the affected area). this meant that the colonial authorities became Vichy French. the United States. but ultimate power resided in the hands of the Japanese. the major powers came to an agreement that British troops would occupy the south while Nationalist Chinese forces would move in from the north. and the right to achieve Happiness. controlled by the Indochinese Communist Party.Vietnam War 2 Background to 1949 France began its conquest of Indochina in the late 1850s. In turn this meant that the French collaborated with the Japanese forces after their invasion of French Indochina during 1940. the Japanese army interned them all on 9 March 1945 and assumed direct control themselves[28] through their puppet state. Viet Minh leader Ho Chi Minh was suspected of being a communist and jailed for a year by the Chinese Nationalist Party. the United Kingdom. he began his speech by paraphrasing the United States Declaration of Independence: All men are created equal. the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) gave weapons to the Vietnamese.[32] Nationalist Chinese troops entered the country to disarm Japanese troops north of the 16th parallel on September 14. most notable by the Can Vuong of Phan Dinh Phung. but also opposed Japanese occupation in 1945 for the same reason. the French were defeated by the Germans in 1940. and completed pacification by 1893.[26] However. as the French were still interned and the Japanese forces stood down.[36] When the British landed in the south.[32] The Viet Minh stepped into this vacuum and grasped power across Vietnam in the August Revolution. they did not have enough power to fight actual battles at first. In French Indochina this created a power vacuum. as they did not have enough troops to do this themselves.[20] [21] [22] The Treaty of Huế.[32] As the French did not have the ships. they rearmed the interned French forces as well as parts of the surrendered Japanese forces to aid them in retaking southern Vietnam. but none were ultimately as successful as the Viet Minh common front. [31] Between 75 and 100 warehouses were consequently raided.[32] largely supported by the Vietnamese population.[29] Exploiting the administrative gap[30] that the internment of the French had created.[27] Double occupation by France and Japan continued until the German forces were expelled from France and the French Indochina colonial authorities started holding secret talks with the Free French.S. by 1888 the area of the current-day nations of Cambodia and Vietnam was made into the colony of French Indochina (Laos was added later).

President Dwight D. Ho signed an agreement allowing French forces to replace Nationalist Chinese forces. the United States created a Military Assistance and Advisory Group (MAAG) to screen French requests for aid. and train Vietnamese soldiers.[51] Nixon. as the Vietnamese government the following month.[44] 3 Exit of the French.[42] British forces departed on 26 March 1946. this situation changed by 1949 when the Chinese Communists had largely won the Chinese Civil War and were free to provide arms to their Vietnamese allies.[44] Globally.[50] There were also talks between the French and Americans in which the possible use of three tactical nuclear weapons was considered.S. beginning the First Indochina War. bases in the region. 1946. gave this nuclear option his backing. 1950–1954 In January 1950.[38] On March 6. Joint Chiefs of Staff.000 small arms and spent US$1 billion in support of the French military effort.[45] The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 convinced many Washington policymakers that the war in Indochina was an example of communist expansionism directed by the Kremlin. and B-47s could have executed a nuclear strike. based in Hanoi. led by the People's Republic of China (PRC). a so-called "hawk" on Vietnam.S. to bomb Viet Minh commander Vo Nguyen Giap's positions. B-36s.S. Seventh Fleet carriers. . led by former Emperor Bảo Đại.[55] As an experienced five-star general. The war spread to Laos and Cambodia. as could carrier aircraft from the Seventh Fleet. Admiral Arthur W. the Cold War began in earnest. which meant that the rapprochement that existed between the Western powers and the Soviet Union during World War II disintegrated.Vietnam War Following the party line from Moscow. shouldering 80 percent of the cost of the war.[46] PRC military advisors began assisting the Viet Minh in July 1950. and laborers transformed the Viet Minh from a guerrilla force into a regular army. both of which were modeled on the Viet Minh. the Viet Minh began a guerrilla war against the French Union forces.[53] French soldiers fight off a Viet Minh ambush in 1952.S. the plan involved the Joint Chiefs of Staff drawing up plans to use three small tactical nuclear weapons in support of the French. and reconnaissance flights over Dien Bien Phu were conducted during the negotiations. where Communists organized the Pathet Lao and the Khmer Serei. the communist nations.[49] By 1954.[51] [52] One version of the plan for the proposed Operation Vulture envisioned sending 60 B-29s from U. recognized the Viet Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam. supported by as many as 150 fighters launched from U. as the government of Vietnam. while non-communist nations recognized the French-backed State of Vietnam in Saigon.[39] [40] [41] The French landed in Hanoi by March 1946 and in November of that year they ousted the Viet Minh from the city.S.[37] In January 1946. Eisenhower decided against the intervention. advise on strategy. Eisenhower made American participation contingent on British support. The plan included an option to use up to three atomic weapons on the Viet Minh positions.S.[47] PRC weapons. Eisenhower was very wary of getting the United States involved in a land war in Asia. U. According to U. leaving Vietnam in the hands of the French. the United States had supplied 300.S. Ho Chi Minh initially attempted to negotiate with the French. though reports of how seriously this was considered and by whom are even now vague and contradictory.[54] In the end. B-29s. expertise. Vice-President Richard Nixon.[48] In September 1950. Chairman of the U. convinced that the political risks outweighed the possible benefits. U. the Viet Minh won elections across central and northern Vietnam.[43] Soon thereafter. who were slowly re-establishing their control across the country. in exchange for French recognition of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam as a "free" republic within the French Union. with the specifics of such recognition to be determined by future negotiation.[54] U. carriers sailed to the Gulf of Tonkin. suggested that the United States might have to "put American boys in". but London was opposed to such a venture. Radford. The Viet Minh fight was hampered by a lack of weapons.

. leaders in Hanoi admitted to "excesses" in implementing this program and restored a large amount of the land to the original owners. fearing persecution by the communists[59] following an American propaganda campaign using slogans such as "The Virgin Mary is heading south".S. which argued that if one country fell to communism.2 percent of the vote. Laos.[48] The PRC completed its withdrawal from North Vietnam at around the same time.000 cadres in the south as a "politico-military substructure within the object of its irredentism. however. constituted the State of Vietnam. Diem rigged the poll supervised by his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu and was credited with 98. In addition to the Catholics flowing south. His American advisers had recommended a more modest winning margin of "60 to 70 percent. funded $93 million relocation program. In June 1955. and under the terms of the Geneva Accords.[56] The Battle of Dien Bien Phu marked the end of French involvement in Indochina. fled south. civilians were to be given the opportunity to move freely between the two provisional states for a 300-day period.S. the Hoa Hao sect of Ba Cut.[67] In 1956.Vietnam War The Viet Minh received crucial support from the Soviet Union and PRC.[58] Around one million northerners. the Viet Minh ruled as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and engaged in a drastic land reform program in which an estimated 8. Diem increasingly sought to blame the communists. As broad-based opposition to his harsh tactics mounted.[60] and aided by a U. PRC support in the Border Campaign of 1950 allowed supplies to come from the PRC into Vietnam. Of the 12.S.[73] Three days later. mainly minority Catholics. with himself as president. meanwhile." Diem.[72] In a referendum on the future of the State of Vietnam on 23 October 1955.000 Vietnamese civilians moved from south to north."[65] The last French soldiers were to leave Vietnam in April 1956.000 "Revolutionary Regroupees" went to the north for "regroupment. claiming South Vietnam had rejected the Geneva Accords from the beginning and was therefore not bound by them.[74] The ROV was created largely because of the Eisenhower administration's desire for an anti-communist state in the region. and on 7 May 1954. 4 Transition period Vietnam was temporarily partitioned at the 17th parallel. intelligence estimates remained skeptical of French chances of success." expecting to return to the south within two years. with Bảo Đại as Emperor and Ngô Đình Diệm (appointed in July 1954) as his prime minister. "80 per cent of the population would have voted for the Communist Ho Chi Minh" over Emperor Bảo Đại. experts[69] when he wrote that. Elections throughout the country were to be held in 1956 to establish a unified government. Giap's Viet Minh forces handed the French a stunning military defeat. Diem (against U. then all of the surrounding countries would follow.000 survived. Diem announced that the scheduled 1956 elections would not be held.[70] [71] From April to June 1955. in 1954. and Vietnam. which included ferrying refugees with the Seventh Fleet.[68] The south.000 perceived "class enemies" were executed. was first proposed as policy by the Eisenhower administration.000 French prisoners taken by the Viet Minh. U.S. the French Union garrison surrendered. he declared South Vietnam to be an independent state known as the Republic of Vietnam (ROV). Throughout the conflict.[75] It was. up to 130. viewed the election as a test of authority. the French negotiated a ceasefire agreement with the Viet Minh.[72] The domino theory.[63] Diem later went on to staff his administration's key posts mostly with northern and central Catholics.[47] Around 52. advice) eliminated any political opposition in the south by launching military operations against the Cao Dai religious sect. and the Binh Xuyen organized crime group (which was allied with members of the secret police and some military elements). including 133% in Saigon. President Eisenhower echoed senior U. only 3.[62] The northern.000 to 10. and independence was granted to Cambodia.[61] It is estimated that as many as two million more would have left had they not been stopped by the Viet Minh. mainly Catholic refugees were meant to give the later Ngô Đình Diệm regime a strong anti-communist constituency. "How can we expect 'free elections' to be held in the Communist North?" he asked.[64] The Viet Minh left roughly 5.[57] At the Geneva Conference.[66] In the north. and is still.

agitating for a free all-Vietnam election in accordance with the Geneva Accords. that "Diem represented narrow and extremist nationalism coupled with autocracy and nepotism.[81] . as the Chinese had insisted in 1954 that the Viet Minh accept a division of the country. Senator.[78] The regime branded its opponents Viet Cong ("Vietnamese communist") to degrade their nationalist credentials. Historian Luu Doan Huynh notes.000 suspected opponents of Diem were killed between 1955 and 1957 and by the end of 1958 an estimated 40. Beginning in the summer of 1955. Trường Chinh.S."[76] 5 Diem era. tortured. and a parade was held in Diem's honor in New York City. Diem had been interior minister in the colonial government.S. and Diem warned that it was an illusion to believe that blindly copying Western methods would solve Vietnamese problems. Although Diem was publicly praised. 1956–1960 The Sino-Soviet split led to a reduction in the influence of the PRC in Vietnam. They knew little of the language or long history of the country. Diem launched the "Denounce the Communists" campaign. during which communists and other anti-government elements were arrested. said in a speech to the American Friends of Vietnam: "Burma.[79] In May 1957. however. John F. President Dwight D. nationalist. and socially conservative. Diem was fervently anti-communist.S. Diem undertook a ten-day state visit to the United States. 1957. North Vietnam's pro-PRC party first secretary. but rather engage in a political campaign.[45] Insurgency in the South. The majority of Vietnamese people were Buddhist. the Philippines and obviously Laos and Cambodia are among those whose security would be threatened if the Red Tide of Communism overflowed into Vietnam. which had enjoined them not to start an insurrection.[45] There was a tendency to assign American motives to Vietnamese actions. in which thousands of local Viet Minh cadres and supporters had been executed or sent to concentration camps. President Eisenhower pledged his continued support. He instituted the death penalty against any activity deemed communist in August 1956. Thailand. then a U. As a measure of the level of political repression. in private Secretary of State John Foster Dulles conceded that Diem had been selected because there were no better alternatives.[] This insurgency in the south had begun in response to Diem's Denunciation of Communists campaign. Kennedy. 1954 U. May 8."[77] As he was a wealthy Catholic. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles greet President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam in Washington. 1955–1963 Rule A devout Roman Catholic. and was in violation of the Northern Communist party line. was demoted and Hanoi authorized communists in South Vietnam to begin a low-level insurgency in December 1956. India. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara wrote that the new American patrons of the ROV were almost completely ignorant of Vietnamese culture.[80] The Geneva Conference.Vietnam War commonly hypothesized that it applied to Vietnam. Future U.000 political prisoners had been jailed. and were alarmed by actions such as Diem's dedication of the country to the Virgin Mary. about 12. or executed. imprisoned. Japan. many ordinary Vietnamese viewed Diem as part of the elite who had helped the French rule Vietnam.

" This strategy was referred to as "armed propaganda. If an assassination is necessary.[95] These made Kennedy believe that another failure on the part of the United States to gain control and stop communist expansion would fatally damage U. Europe and Latin America "loomed larger than Asia on his sights.S.S.Vietnam War Ho Chi Minh stated.[89] In January 1959. South Vietnam enacted Law 10/59.S. Do not take land from a peasant. Although Eisenhower warned Kennedy about Laos and Vietnam.000 troops based in Korea.S. presidential election. 400 government officials were assassinated in 1957 alone.-Soviet issues.[83] [84] health workers. North Vietnam supplied troops and supplies in earnest. Kennedy made the ambitious pledge to "pay any price. use a knife. Successive American administrations. and the infiltration of men and weapons from the North began along the Ho Chi Minh Trail."[93] In his inaugural address. "Now we have a problem making our power credible and Vietnam looks like the place. Kennedy was thus determined to "draw a line in the sand" and prevent a communist victory in Vietnam. the construction of the Berlin Wall. effectively replacing Trường. 6 During John F. In 1961. and accidental killing of the innocent bystanders will alienate peasants from the revolution. In May. in order to assure the survival and success of liberty. Emphasize nationalism rather than communism.[90] Observing the increasing unpopularity of the Diem regime. as Robert McNamara and others have noted. McGarr. Hanoi authorized the creation of the National Liberation Front (NLF) on 12 December 1960 as a common front controlled by the communist party in the South."[96] [97] . and incompetence progressively angered large segments of the population of South Vietnam. make sure peasants know why the killing occurred."[82] Soon afterward. credibility with its allies and his own reputation. Do not antagonize anyone if you can avoid it. Kennedy's administration.[85] and agricultural officials. Lê Duẩn. a communist leader who had been working in the south."[94] In June 1961. returned to Hanoi to accept the position of acting first secretary. such as schoolteachers. repression. Senator John F.S. not a rifle or grenade. and the peasantry hated them for their corruption and abuse. the insurgents had assassinated 20 percent of South Vietnam's village chiefs by 1958. The Kennedy administration remained essentially committed to the Cold War foreign policy inherited from the Truman and Eisenhower administrations." allowing the southern communists to begin large-scale operations against the South Vietnamese military. a "significant part" of the population in the south supported the communists. had 50. military advisory team. that will lead to defeat. and a negotiated settlement between the pro-Western government of Laos and the Pathet Lao communist movement.[91] According to a November 1960 report by the head of the U. overestimated the control that Hanoi had over the NLF.[88] The insurgency sought to completely destroy government control in South Vietnam's rural villages and replace it with a shadow government. the U. He told James Reston of The New York Times immediately after his Vienna meeting with Khrushchev. Lieutenant General Lionel C. 1961–1963 In the 1960 U. meet any hardship. Once an assassination has taken place. bear any burden. and the violence gradually increased. and Kennedy faced a three-part crisis – the failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Be selective in your violence. "Do not engage in military operations. It is too easy to kill innocent bystanders with guns and bombs.[87] According to one estimate. While the terror was originally aimed at local government officials. support any friend. which made political violence punishable by death and property confiscation.[86] Diem appointed village chiefs from outside the villages. North Vietnam's Central Committee issued a secret resolution authorizing an "armed struggle. Duẩn urged a military line and advocated increased assistance to the insurgency.[92] The communists thus had a degree of popular support for their campaign to bring down Diem and reunify the country. Kennedy defeated Vice-President Richard Nixon. oppose any foe. he bitterly disagreed with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev when they met in Vienna to discuss key U. it soon broadened to include other symbols of the status quo.[45] Diem's paranoia.

provide education and health care. South Vietnamese governmental incompetence was at the core of the crisis. he was also interested in using special forces for counterinsurgency warfare in Third World countries threatened by communist insurgencies. On 23 July 1962."[80] Johnson assured Diem of more aid in molding a fighting force that could resist the communists. While Hanoi's support for the NLF played a role. Johnson visited Saigon and enthusiastically declared Diem the "Winston Churchill of Asia. were quickly infiltrated by the guerrillas. Kennedy believed that the guerrilla tactics employed by special forces such as the Green Berets would be effective in a "brush fire" war in Vietnam. signed an agreement promising the neutrality of Laos. forces in large numbers there today. South Vietnam. including the People's Republic of China. remained poor. Kennedy advisers Maxwell Taylor and Walt Rostow recommended that U.S. Corruption dogged the program and intensified opposition.-South Vietnamese program attempted to resettle the rural population into fortified camps. Kennedy's policy toward South Vietnam rested on the assumption that Diem and his forces must ultimately defeat the guerrillas on their own. however. "Diem's the only boy we got out there.[100] One major issue Kennedy raised was whether the Soviet space and missile programs had surpassed those of the United States. Bad leadership. Military Regions. while it might have an initially favorable military impact. Vice President Lyndon B. the Soviet Union."[101] By 1963. there were 16. however. up from Eisenhower's 900 advisors. which left farmers paying high rents to a few wealthy landlords. Johnson replied. Kennedy rejected the idea but increased military assistance yet again. This joint U. North Vietnam and the United States.000 American military personnel in South Vietnam. In part.S.[102] 7 South Vietnam. was in fact a communist agent who used his Catholicism to gain influential posts and damage the ROV from the inside. and strengthen the government's hold over the countryside. adverse military consequences."[98] Asked why he had made the comment.[103] . The government refused to undertake land reform. The frequency of guerrilla attacks rose as the insurgency gathered steam. Although Kennedy stressed long-range missile parity with the Soviets. Although they were originally intended for use behind front lines after a conventional invasion of Europe. a Diem favourite who was instrumental in running the program. fourteen nations. and political promotions all played a part in emasculating the ARVN. troops be sent to South Vietnam disguised as flood relief workers.Vietnam War In May 1961."[99] The quality of the South Vietnamese military. in the long run. this was because Colonel Pham Ngoc Thao. 1967 The Strategic Hamlet Program had been initiated in 1961. corruption. The peasants resented being uprooted from their ancestral villages. The Strategic Hamlets. would almost certainly lead to adverse political and. The aim was to isolate the population from the insurgents. In April 1962. He was against the deployment of American combat troops and observed that "to introduce U.S. John Kenneth Galbraith warned Kennedy of the "danger we shall replace the French as a colonial force in the area and bleed as the French did.

. Ambassador Lodge informed Kennedy that "the prospects now are for a shorter war"."[106] He had not approved Diem's murder. 1962 South Vietnamese Independence Palace bombing. planning to remove Diem. Henry Cabot Lodge. each new regime was viewed as a puppet of the Americans. and his main job was to preserve his forces to stave off coups. commander of the IV Corps. He seemed concerned only with fending off coups. Thuc's anniversary celebrations shortly before Vesak had been bankrolled by the government and Vatican flags were displayed prominently. When he was informed. Cao was a Catholic who had been promoted due to religion and fidelity rather than skill. Kennedy noted. Some policymakers in Washington began to conclude that Diem was incapable of defeating the communists and might even make a deal with Ho Chi Minh. On 21 August 1963. in which a small band of Viet Cong beat off a much larger and better equipped South Vietnamese force. many of whose officers seemed reluctant even to engage in combat. Chief among the proposed changes was the removal of Diem's younger brother Nhu. whatever the failings of Diem. on 2 November 1963.. Huế Phật Đản shootings and Xa Loi Pagoda raids The inept performance of the South Vietnamese army was exemplified by failed actions such as the Battle of Ap Bac on 2 January 1963. ambassador to South Vietnam. loyal to Diem's younger brother Ngo Dinh Nhu. Huynh Van Cao.S. encouragement. his credentials as a nationalist (as Robert McNamara later reflected) had been impeccable. President Diem was overthrown and executed."[105] Discontent with Diem's policies exploded following the Huế Phật Đản shootings of majority Buddhists who were protesting against the ban on the Buddhist flag on Vesak. as one military government toppled another in quick succession. They were told that the United States would not oppose such a move nor punish the generals by cutting off aid. He was difficult to reason with. causing widespread damage and destruction and leaving a death toll estimated to range into the hundreds. the ARVN Special Forces of Colonel Le Quang Tung. "Diem wouldn't make even the slightest concessions.Vietnam War 8 Coup and assassinations See also: Kennedy's role. The U. invited the coup leaders to the embassy and congratulated them. U. There had also been reports of Buddhist pagodas being demolished by Catholic paramilitaries throughout Diem's rule. which he partly attributed to U. raided pagodas across Vietnam. embassy in Saigon in Cable 243. Hanoi took advantage of the situation and increased its support for the guerrillas. This proposal was conveyed to the U. chaos ensued. Increasingly. Maxwell Taylor remembered that Kennedy "rushed from the room with a look of shock and dismay on his face. while the Defense Department favored Diem. South Vietnam entered a period of extreme political instability. along with his brother. Diem refused to make concessions to the Buddhist majority or take responsibility for the deaths. officials began discussing the possibility of a regime change during the middle of 1963. The United States Department of State was generally in favor of encouraging a coup. This resulted in mass protests against discriminatory policies that gave privileges to the Catholic Church and its adherents.[108] . Ngo Dinh Diem after being shot and killed in the The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was in contact with generals 1963 coup. who controlled the secret police and special forces was seen as the man behind the Buddhist repression and more generally the architect of the Ngo family's rule. the Buddha's birthday. and had become more paranoid after attempts in 1960 and 1962. Diem's elder brother Ngo Dinh Thuc was the Archbishop of Huế and aggressively blurred the separation between church and state.S. he had earlier vomited during a communist attack.[104] The ARVN were led in that battle by Diem's most trusted general.S. 1960 South Vietnamese coup attempt.S. As Robert F.[107] Following the coup.

."[115] [116] On 24 November 1963.[114] 9 Lyndon B. The insurgency was a political power struggle. was hostile to any role for U. meeting in lieu of a strong South Vietnamese leader. The military leadership in Washington. advisers other than conventional troop training. "the battle against communism. The indigenous forces numbered in the tens of thousands and they conducted direct action missions. however. efforts on pacification and "winning over the hearts and minds" of the population. there was persistent instability in the military as several coups—not all successful—occurred in a short space of time.S. must be joined. led by paramilitary officers. almost completely ignorant of the political nature of the insurgency. however. B-66 Destroyer and four F-105 Thunderchiefs dropping bombs on North Vietnam The military revolutionary council.S. later recalled as "a model of lethargy. Johnson escalates the war..[111] The CIA was less optimistic.[119] with his own NSAM 273 (26 November)[120] [121] to expand the war. A U. especially in places like the Mekong Delta... Johnson (LBJ).[110] General Paul Harkins. confidently predicted victory by Christmas 1963. "Vietnam at the time was no bigger than a man's fist on the horizon.[109] The Kennedy administration sought to refocus U.. 1963–1969 Further information: Role of United States in the Vietnam War: Americanization Lyndon B. against the Communist Pathet Lao forces and their North Vietnamese supporters.[118] Johnson had reversed Kennedy's disengagement policy from Vietnam in withdrawing 1."[117] The pledge came at a time when Vietnam was deteriorating.[112] Paramilitary officers from the CIA's Special Activities Division trained and led Hmong tribesmen in Laos and into Vietnam. but was changed for cover purposes. forces in South Vietnam. because of the recent coup against Diem. We hardly discussed it because it was not worth discussing. Presidential aide Jack Valenti recalls. a journalist on the ground. Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group (MAC-V SOG).Vietnam War U. which was originally named the Special Operations Group. They were.000 troops by the end of 1963 (NSAM 263 on 11 October).S. initially did not consider Vietnam a priority and was more concerned with his "Great Society" and progressive social programs. with strength and determination.[113] The CIA also ran the Phoenix Program and participation Military Assistance Command.S. frustrated by the end of the year.S military advisers were embedded at every level of the South Vietnamese armed forces.[123] However. Johnson said. as he took over the presidency after the death of Kennedy."[122] Lodge. warning that "the Viet Cong by and large retain de facto control of much of the countryside and have steadily increased the overall intensity of the effort". however. in which military engagements were not the main goal. cabled home about Minh: "Will he be strong enough to get on top of things?" His regime was overthrown in January 1964 by General Nguyen Khanh. the commander of U. was made up of 12 members headed by General Duong Van Minh—whom Stanley Karnow.

000 at the start of 1959 the Viet Cong's ranks grew to about 100. however. committing American boys to fighting a war that I think ought to be fought by the boys of Asia to help protect their own land. As one officer noted "this is a political war and it calls for discriminate killing. "is an oft-cited example of the way in which Johnson misled the American people to gain support for his foreign policy in Vietnam... however."[128] George C. it was aimed at bolstering the morale of the South Vietnamese..500 in 1964.[131] Operation Flaming Dart (initiated when Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin was at a state visit to North Vietnam).000 in 1961..[124] A second attack was reported two days later on the USS Turner Joy and Maddox in the same area. The worst is an airplane. prompted Congress to approve the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution."[109] The numbers for U. moves an alleged NLF activist to the rear during a search and clear operation held by the battalion 15 miles (24 km) west of Da Nang Air Base. On 2 March 1965. rockets and bombs. The best weapon. 2. had long advocated saturation bombing in Vietnam and wrote of the Communists that "we're going to bomb them back into the Stone Age". Operation Rolling Thunder and Operation Arc Light commenced.Between 1961 and 1964 the Army's strength rose from about 850. The objective of forcing North Vietnam to stop its support for the NLF.. but they were obviously in a mood to retaliate and they seem to have selected from the evidence available to them those parts that confirmed what they wanted to believe."[135] The Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force Curtis LeMay. Bombing was not restricted to North Vietnam. Other aerial campaigns.[133] Between March 1965 and November 1968."[126] An undated NSA publication declassified in 2005. Johnson pledged that he was not ". was intended to force North Vietnam to cease its support for the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF) by threatening to destroy North Vietnam's air defenses and industrial infrastructure. rising rapidly to 16.. In the same month. however.S. writes Louise Gerdes. which ultimately lasted three years. which ran through Laos and Cambodia. and gave the president power to conduct military operations in Southeast Asia without declaring war. however. A Marine from 1st Battalion.000 at the end of 1964. Marine barracks at Pleiku.000 to nearly a million men.[130] The National Security Council recommended a three-stage escalation of the bombing of North Vietnam.. Herring argues. The circumstances of the attack were murky. Lyndon Johnson commented to Undersecretary of State George Ball that "those sailors out there may have been shooting at flying fish."[129] "From a strength of approximately 5. would be a knife. that McNamara and the Pentagon "did not knowingly lie about the alleged attacks.[132] The bombing campaign.[136] . the USS Maddox. on an intelligence mission along North Vietnam's coast. As well. allegedly fired upon and damaged several torpedo boats that had been stalking it in the Gulf of Tonkin.[134] An alleged NLF activist. is interrogated. following an attack on a U. 3rd Marines. These included the Ho Chi Minh trail.S. targeted different parts of the NLF and VPA infrastructure. such as Operation Commando Hunt..[127] It had already been called into question long before this. "Rolling Thunder" deluged the north with a million tons of missiles. "Gulf of Tonkin incident". captured during an attack on an American outpost near the Cambodian border."[125] The second attack led to retaliatory air strikes. troops deployed to Vietnam during the same period were quite different.Vietnam War 10 On 2 August 1964. revealed that there was no attack on 4 August. was never reached.

.S. By ignoring ARVN units.000 by December.S. Regardless of political policies.[141] in a battle that both sides viewed as a watershed. U. Ho Chi Minh warned that if the Americans "want to make war for twenty years then we shall make war for twenty years. South Vietnamese forces were again defeated in June. This marked the beginning of the American ground war. Westmoreland was advocating an aggressive departure from America's defensive posture and the sidelining of the South Vietnamese.S.[146] . Commitment of U. and allied forces mount major offensive actions to seize the initiative to destroy guerrilla and organized enemy forces.[143] Desertion rates were increasing. it was decided that U.S. at the Battle of Đồng Xoài.500 in March was increased to nearly 200.[140] The U. • Phase 3. mobility. • Phase 2. military had long been schooled in offensive warfare.[139] The Marines' assignment was defensive. Previously communist forces had utilized hit-and-run guerrilla tactics. 1965 Peasants suspected of being Vietcong under detention of U. army. 1966 U.[140] In December. This phase would end when the enemy had been worn down.[142] Tellingly. commitment became open-ended. If the enemy persisted.S.S. air bases and the U. the U. troops with their energy.S."[138] As former First Deputy Foreign Minister Tran Quang Co has noted. 3. The South Vietnamese military seemed incapable of providing security.S. (and other free world) forces necessary to halt the losing trend by the end of 1965. General William Westmoreland informed Admiral U. S. Marines were dispatched to South Vietnam. U.Vietnam War 11 Escalation and ground war After several attacks upon them.S.S. Grant Sharp. "I am convinced that U. the primary goal of the war was to reunify Vietnam and secure its independence. public opinion overwhelmingly supported the deployment."[144] With this recommendation.500 U. that the situation was critical. commander of U. The initial deployment of 3. and morale plummeted. Pacific forces. response. and firepower can successfully take the fight to the NLF [National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam]. and driven back from major populated areas. thrown on the defensive. Air Force bases needed more protection.S. a period of twelve to eighteen months following Phase 2 would be required for the final destruction of enemy forces remaining in remote base areas. If they want to make peace.[137] In a statement similar to that made to the French almost two decades earlier. ARVN forces suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Bình Giã. we shall make peace and invite them to afternoon tea.S. commanders were institutionally and psychologically unsuited to a defensive mission. however at Binh Gia they had successfully defeated a strong ARVN force in conventional warfare.[140] He said. soldiers searching a village for NLF • Phase 1. U.[145] Westmoreland outlined a three-point plan to win the war: Universal Newsreel film about an attack on U.S. Jr.S. The policy of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) was not to topple other non-communist governments in South East Asia. On 8 March 1965.

As the media's coverage of the war and that of the Pentagon diverged. Thieu became president with Ky as his deputy. Instead he emphasized continuity.[149] The one-year tour of duty deprived units of experienced leadership. General Nguyễn Văn Thiệu. the political situation in South Vietnam began to stabilize with the coming to power of Prime Minister Air Marshal Nguyễn Cao Kỳ and figurehead Chief of State. As Stanley Karnow writes. Meanwhile.S. such as operations Masher.[148] The change in U. notably NATO nations Canada and the United Kingdom.[154] . As one observer noted "we were not in Vietnam for 10 years. however. 12 Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin with U. Westmoreland predicted victory by the end of 1967. having won a one-man election in 1971.[153] The Ho Chi Minh Trail running through Laos.S. policy depended on matching the North Vietnamese and the NLF in a contest of attrition and morale. Military information officers sought to manage media coverage by emphasizing stories that portrayed progress in the war.. This ended a series of coups that had happened more than once a year. the communist insurgents remained elusive and demonstrated great tactical flexibility.[149] The idea that the government of South Vietnam could manage its own affairs was shelved. President Lyndon B. Thieu was also accused of murdering Ky loyalists through contrived military accidents. mistrustful and indecisive. Cedar Falls. Ky was supposed to maintain real power through a behind-the-scenes military body. however.Vietnam War The plan was approved by Johnson and marked a profound departure from the previous administration's insistence that the government of South Vietnam was responsible for defeating the guerrillas. a so-called credibility gap developed. Thieu outmanoevred and sidelined Ky by filling the ranks with generals from his faction. this policy damaged the public trust in official pronouncements. However. the Republic of Korea. Major allies. Thailand. Washington encouraged its SEATO allies to contribute troops. was only slightly smaller than the New York Bloomingdale's. training programs were shortened. in mid 1965 at the head of a military junta. However. The opponents were locked in a cycle of escalation. Australia.S. but for one year 10 times.. communicate this change in strategy to the media. after rigged elections. remained president until 1975. Over time. and its allies mounted complex operations."[135] As a result. located in the Saigon suburb of Cholon. Attleboro. Johnson at the Glassboro Summit Conference where the two representatives discussed the possibilities of a peace settlement. New Zealand. In 1967. and Junction City."[150] The American buildup transformed the economy and had a profound effect on South Vietnamese society. "the main PX [Post Exchange]. Thieu. 1967 The Johnson administration employed a "policy of minimum candor"[154] in its dealings with the media. Although they were nominally a civilian government. A huge surge in corruption was witnessed. South Vietnam was inundated with manufactured goods. declined Washington's troop requests.[152] The U.[147] Johnson did not. and the Philippines[151] all agreed to send troops.

Despite its military failure. North Vietnamese officials acknowledged that the Tet Offensive had. He was featured on the cover of Time magazine three times and was named 1965's Man of the Year.. and infused the. Johnson. drew up the battle plans... Saigon. decimating the ranks of the NLF. unintended consequence. Tet "contradicted the claims of progress. the American forces employed massive firepower. firepower)[161] that "it became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it" (though the authenticity of this quote is disputed).S. They launched the surprise Tet Offensive in the hope of sparking a national uprising.[158] The American media.[158] U. Over 100 cities were attacked. the communist insurgent occupying forces massacred several thousand unarmed Huế civilians (estimates vary up to a high of 6. Throughout the offensive.S.Vietnam War 13 Tet Offensive Having lured General Westmoreland's forces into the hinterland at Khe Sanh in Quảng Trị Province. in Huế where the battle was the fiercest. which led to the Battle of Huế. the public was shocked and confused when Westmoreland's predictions were trumped by Tet.[162] According to one source. the Tet Offensive became a political victory and ended the career of President Lyndon B. Johnson's approval rating slumped from 48 to 36 percent.S.S. with assaults on General Westmoreland's headquarters and the U. After the war. Embassy.[158] In a speech before the National Press Club he said that a point in the war had been reached "where the end comes into view. General Westmoreland had become the public face of the war. The offensive constituted an intelligence failure on the scale of Pearl Harbor. the combined NLF and VPA troops captured the Imperial Citadel and much of the city.S.[155] in January 1968. aims and responsibilities. saying of Bến Tre (laid to rubble by U. efforts. Marines fighting in Huế As James Witz noted.. But the offensive had another. who declined to run for re-election. indeed.. they responded quickly and effectively. men under him with his own idealistic view of U.S.[157] Time described him as "the sinewy personification of the American fighting man.[151] [160] Journalist Peter Arnett quoted an unnamed officer."[158] The Tet Offensive was the turning point in America's involvement in the Vietnam War. and South Vietnamese forces were initially taken aback by the scale of the urban offensive. which had been largely supportive of U. caused grave damage to NLF forces. Although the U.[156] During the interim between the capture of the Citadel and end of the "Battle of Huế". It had a profound impact on domestic support for the conflict.."[157] In November 1967 Westmoreland spearheaded a public relations drive for the Johnson administration to bolster flagging public support. this quote was attributed to Major Booris of 9th Infantry Division.[163] . (who) directed the historic buildup. made by the Johnson administration and the military."[159] Thus. In the former capital city of Huế. the NVA and NLF broke the truce that had traditionally accompanied the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday. that firepower left 80% of the city in ruins.000). rounded on the Johnson administration for what had become an increasing credibility gap.

until Johnson gave orders to halt the bombing of North Vietnam. Nixon ordered a squadron of 18 B-52s loaded with nuclear weapons to race to the border of Soviet airspace to convince the Soviet Union that he was capable of anything to end the Vietnam War. troops to Vietnam was seen as Johnson's admission that the war was lost. Propaganda leaflet urging the defection of NLF and North Vietnamese to the side of the Republic of Vietnam . Negotiations stagnated for five months. "Lyndon Johnson's escalation of the war in Vietnam divided Americans into warring camps.[164] On 10 May 1968. His plan.S.000 American troops to be completed during the spring of next year. at least not at a cost acceptable to the American people.. just as all resistance was finally subdued. 1969–1972 Nixon Doctrine / Vietnamization Severe communist losses during the Tet Offensive allowed U. his position had become untenable because of the offensive and because his request for 200. was running against Republican former vice president Richard Nixon. This will bring a total reduction of 265."[165] His refusal to send more U. Nixon said in an announcement.500 men in our armed forces in Vietnam below the level that existed when we took office 15 months ago.[166] As Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara noted. despite low expectations. called the Nixon Doctrine.Vietnam War 14 Westmoreland became Chief of Staff of the Army in March. Vice President Hubert Humphrey. The policy became known as "Vietnamization". cost 30.000 additional troops had been leaked to the media. Westmoreland was succeeded by his deputy Creighton Abrams. The move was technically a promotion.. Vietnamization had much in common with the policies of the Kennedy administration. peace talks began between the United States and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. however. One important difference. Nixon also pursued negotiations. Theater commander Creighton Abrams shifted to smaller operations.. so that they could take over the defense of South Vietnam. "the dangerous illusion of victory by the United States was therefore dead. remained. air force personnel during an attack on the perimeter of Tan Son Nhut Air Base during the Tet Offensive As historian Robert Dallek writes.S. "I am tonight announcing plans for the withdrawal of an additional 150. While Kennedy insisted that the South Vietnamese fight the war themselves.S. (and) destroyed Johnson's presidency. he attempted to limit the scope of the conflict."[167] Vietnamization.000 American lives by the time he left office. aimed at communist logistics.. The Democratic candidate. a commander less inclined to public media pronouncements."[168] On 10 October 1969. was to build up the ARVN. President Richard Nixon to begin troop withdrawals.[166] It can be seen that the refusal was a tacit admission that the war could not be won by escalation. NLF/NVA killed by U. However.

[169] The anti-war movement was gaining strength in the United States. which is one reason why casualties in 1970 were less than half of 1969's totals. yet they had learned little.S.S. losses.000 of the Vietnamese dead were civilians. The operation was a fiasco and represented a clear failure of Vietnamization. The reaction to the incident by the Nixon administration was seen as callous and indifferent. The (South Vietnamese) government's top officers had been tutored by the Americans for ten or fifteen years. neutrality and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Prince Sihanouk was deposed by his pro-American prime minister Lon Nol. Four students were killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State University during a protest in Ohio. protests. which provoked public outrage in the United States.S. This policy helped to decrease global tensions.[175] In 1971 the Pentagon Papers were leaked to The New York Times. against their sanctuaries along the Cambodia/Vietnam border. The Vietnamese communists were no longer welcome. he changed this policy in 1969. aimed at cutting the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos. After meeting resistance.. Many ARVN soldiers clung to helicopter skids in a desperate attempt to save themselves.[168] 15 Operation Menu: the secret bombing of Cambodia and Laos Prince Norodom Sihanouk had proclaimed Cambodia neutral since 1955. The Supreme Court ruled that its publication was legal. including tanks. Army platoon raped and killed civilians. Ho Chi Minh died at age seventy-nine. Nixon appealed to the "silent majority" of Americans to support the war. Under pressure from Washington. however.S. As Karnow noted "the blunders were monumental. The invasion of Cambodia sparked nationwide U. forces and ARVN launched incursions into Cambodia to attack VPA/NLF bases and buy time for South Vietnam. many at training schools in the United States.[103] The ostensibly neutral Laos had long been the scene of a secret war.[173] but the communists used Cambodian soil as a base and Sihanouk tolerated their presence. forces concluded Operation Speedy Express with a claimed bodycount of 10. Richard Nixon wrote to Prince Sihanouk in April 1969 assuring him that the United States respected "the sovereignty."[174] In 1970.[176] The ARVN launched Operation Lam Son 719 in February 1971. soldiers abandoned their vehicles and attempted to barge their way on to American helicopters sent to evacuate the wounded. But Nixon was disappointed that the PRC and the Soviet Union continued to supply the North Vietnamese with aid.S. Kevin Buckley writing in Newsweek estimated that perhaps 5. Détente led to nuclear arms reduction on the part of both superpowers.[172] Beginning in 1970. The top-secret history of U. ARVN forces retreated in a confused rout.Vietnam War with better use of firepower and more cooperation with the ARVN..S. This violated a long succession of pronouncements from Washington supporting Cambodian neutrality.S. while U. Half of the invading ARVN troops were either captured or killed. In September 1969. The country's borders were closed. American troops were being taken away from border areas where much more killing took place. providing additional impetus for the anti-war movement. U. detailed a long series of public deceptions. including the 5th Special Forces Group Commander were arrested for the murder[170] of a suspected double agent[171] provoked national and international outrage. The civilian cost of the war was again questioned when U. to prevent them from falling into enemy hands.. and the 1969 "Green Beret Affair" where eight Special Forces soldiers. aircraft had to destroy abandoned equipment.889 Communist guerillas with only 40 U. President Nixon took the opportunity to launch a massive secret bombing campaign. in which a U. They fled along roads littered with their own dead. because he wished to avoid being drawn into a wider regional conflict. But revelations of the My Lai Massacre. and instead put along the coast and interior."[177] . involvement in Vietnam. When they ran out of fuel. commissioned by the Department of Defense.. Nixon also began to pursue détente with the Soviet Union and rapprochement with the People's Republic of China. called Operation Menu.

Vietnam War In 1971 Australia and New Zealand withdrew their soldiers. The U.S. troop count was further reduced to 196,700, with a deadline to remove another 45,000 troops by February 1972. As peace protests spread across the United States, disillusionment and ill-discipline grew in the ranks.[178] Vietnamization was again tested by the Easter Offensive of 1972, a massive conventional invasion of South Vietnam. The VPA and NLF quickly overran the northern provinces and in coordination with other forces attacked from Cambodia, threatening to cut the country in half. U.S. troop withdrawals continued. But American airpower came to the rescue with Operation Linebacker, and the offensive was halted. However, it became clear that without American airpower South Vietnam could not survive. The last remaining American ground troops were withdrawn in August.

16

1972 election and Paris Peace Accords
. The war was the central issue of the 1972 presidential election. Nixon's opponent, George McGovern, campaigned on a platform of withdrawal from Vietnam. Nixon's National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger, continued secret negotiations with North Vietnam's Lê Ðức Thọ. In October 1972, they reached an agreement.

The Nguyen Hue Offensive, 1972, part of the Easter Offensive

However, South Vietnamese President Thieu demanded massive changes to the peace accord. When North Vietnam went public with the agreement's details, the Nixon administration claimed that the North was attempting to embarrass the President. The negotiations became deadlocked. Hanoi demanded new changes. To show his support for South Vietnam and force Hanoi back to the negotiating table, Nixon ordered Operation Linebacker II, a massive bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong 18–29 December 1972. The offensive destroyed much of the remaining economic and industrial capacity of North Vietnam. Simultaneously Nixon pressured Thieu to accept the terms of the agreement, threatening to conclude a bilateral peace deal and cut off American aid. On 15 January 1973, Nixon announced the suspension of offensive action against North Vietnam. The Paris Peace Accords on "Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam" were signed on 27 January 1973, officially ending direct U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. A cease-fire was declared across North and South Vietnam. U.S. POWs were released. The agreement guaranteed the territorial integrity of Vietnam and, like the Geneva Conference of 1954, called for national elections in the North and South. The Paris Peace Accords stipulated a sixty-day period for the total withdrawal of U.S. forces. "This article", noted Peter Church, "proved... to be the only one of the Paris Agreements which was fully carried out."[179]
Operation Linebacker II, December 1972

Vietnam War

17

Opposition to the Vietnam War: 1962–1975
Some advocates within the peace movement advocated a unilateral withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam. One reason given for the withdrawal is that it would contribute to a lessening of tensions in the region and thus less human bloodshed. Early opposition to U.S. involvement in Vietnam was centered around the Geneva conference of 1954. American support of Diem in refusing elections was thought to be thwarting the very democracy that America claimed to be supporting. John Kennedy, while Senator, opposed involvement in Vietnam.[130]

U.S. Navy riverboat deploying napalm during the Vietnam War

Opposition to the Vietnam War tended to unite groups opposed to U.S. anti-communism, imperialism and colonialism and, for those involved with the New Left such as the Catholic Worker Movement, capitalism itself. Others, such as Stephen Spiro opposed the war based on the theory of Just War. Some wanted to show solidarity with the people of Vietnam, such as Norman Morrison emulating the actions of Thích Quảng Đức. Some critics of U.S. withdrawal predicted that it would not contribute to peace but rather vastly increase bloodshed. These critics advocated U.S. forces remain until all threats from the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army had been eliminated. Advocates of U.S. withdrawal were generally known as "doves", and they called their opponents "hawks", following nomenclature dating back to the War of 1812. High-profile opposition to the Vietnam War turned to street protests in an effort to turn U.S. political opinion. On 15 October 1969, the Vietnam Moratorium attracted millions of Americans.[180] The fatal shooting of four students at Kent State University led to nation-wide university protests.[181] Riots broke out at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.[182] After explosive news reports of American military abuses, such as the 1968 My Lai Massacre, brought new attention and support to the anti-war movement, some veterans joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Anti-war protests ended with the final withdrawal of troops after the Paris Peace Accords were signed in 1973. South Vietnam was left to defend itself alone when the fighting resumed. Many South Vietnamese subsequently fled to the United States.[183]

Exit of the Americans: 1973–1975
The United States began drastically reducing their troop support in South Vietnam during the final years of "Vietnamization". Many U.S. troops were removed from the region, and on 5 March 1971, the United States returned the 5th Special Forces Group, which was the first American unit deployed to South Vietnam, to its former base in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.[184] [185] Under the Paris Peace Accords, between North Vietnamese Foreign Victims of the My Lai Massacre Minister Lê Ðức Thọ and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and reluctantly signed by South Vietnamese President Thiệu, U.S. military forces withdrew from South Vietnam and prisoners were exchanged. North Vietnam was allowed to continue supplying communist troops in the South, but only to the extent of replacing materials that were consumed. Later that year the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Kissinger and Thọ, but the Vietnamese negotiator declined it saying that a true peace did not yet exist. The communist leaders had expected that the ceasefire terms would favor their side. But Saigon, bolstered by a surge of U.S. aid received just before the ceasefire went into effect, began to roll back the Vietcong. The communists responded with a new strategy hammered out in a series of meetings in Hanoi in March 1973, according to the memoirs of Trần Văn Trà.[186]

Vietnam War As the Vietcong's top commander, Trà participated in several of these meetings. With U.S. bombings suspended, work on the Ho Chi Minh Trail and other logistical structures could proceed unimpeded. Logistics would be upgraded until the North was in a position to launch a massive invasion of the South, projected for the 1975–76 dry season. Trà calculated that this date would be Hanoi's last opportunity to strike before Saigon's army could be fully trained.[186] In the November 1972 Election, McGovern lost 49 of 50 states to Richard Nixon, who was re-elected U.S. president. Despite supporting Nixon over McGovern, many American voters split their tickets, returning a Democratic majority to both houses of Congress. On 15 March 1973, U.S. President Richard Nixon implied that the United States would intervene militarily if the communist side violated the ceasefire. Public and congressional reaction to Nixon's trial balloon was unfavorable and in April Nixon appointed Graham Martin as U.S. ambassador to Vietnam. Martin was a second stringer compared to previous U.S. ambassadors and his appointment was an early signal that Washington had given up on Vietnam. During his confirmation hearings in June 1973, Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger stated that he would recommend resumption of U.S. bombing in North Vietnam if North Vietnam launched a major offensive against South Vietnam. On 4 June 1973, the U.S. Senate passed the Case-Church Amendment to prohibit such intervention.[187]

18

Calling for immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam, George McGovern's 1972 Presidential Campaign lost 49 of 50 states to Richard Nixon.

The oil price shock of October 1973 caused significant damage to the South Vietnamese economy. The Vietcong resumed offensive operations when dry season began and by January 1974 it had recaptured the territory it lost during the previous dry season. After two clashes that left 55 South Vietnamese soldiers dead, President Thiệu announced on 4 January that the war had restarted and that the Paris Peace Accord was no longer in effect. There had been over 25,000 South Vietnamese casualties during the ceasefire period.[188] Gerald Ford took over as U.S. president on 9 August 1974 after President Nixon resigned due to the Watergate scandal. At this time, Congress cut financial aid to South Vietnam from $1 billion a year to $700 million. The U.S. midterm elections in 1974 brought in a new Congress dominated by Democrats who were even more determined to confront the president on the war. Congress immediately voted in restrictions on funding and military activities to be phased in through 1975 and to culminate in a total cutoff of funding in 1976. The success of the 1973–74 dry season offensive inspired Trà to return to Hanoi in October 1974 and plead for a larger offensive in the next dry season. This time, Trà could travel on a drivable highway with regular fueling stops, a vast change from the days when the Ho Chi Minh Trail was a dangerous mountain trek.[189] Giáp, the North

Vietnam War Vietnamese defense minister, was reluctant to approve Trà's plan. A larger offensive might provoke a U.S. reaction and interfere with the big push planned for 1976. Trà appealed over Giáp's head to first secretary Lê Duẩn, who approved of the operation. Trà's plan called for a limited offensive from Cambodia into Phuoc Long Province. The strike was designed to solve local logistical problems, gauge the reaction of South Vietnamese forces, and determine whether U.S. would return to the fray. On 13 December 1974, North Vietnamese forces attacked Route 14 in Phuoc Long Province. Phuoc Binh, the provincial capital, fell on 6 January 1975. Ford desperately asked Congress for funds to assist and re-supply the South before it was overrun. Congress refused. The fall of Phuoc Binh and the lack of an American response left the South Vietnamese elite demoralized. The speed of this success led the Politburo to reassess its strategy. It was decided that operations in the Central Highlands would be turned over to General Văn Tiến Dũng and that Pleiku should be seized, if possible. Before he left for the South, Dũng was addressed by Lê Duẩn: "Never have we had military and political conditions so perfect or a strategic advantage as great as we have now."[190] At the start of 1975, the South Vietnamese had three times as much artillery and twice the number of tanks and armoured cars as the opposition. They also had 1,400 aircraft and a two-to-one numerical superiority in combat troops over their Communist enemies.[191] However, the rising oil prices meant that much of this could not be used. They faced a well-organized, highly determined and well-funded North Vietnam. Much of the North's material and financial support came from the communist bloc. Within South Vietnam, there was increasing chaos. Their abandonment by the American military had compromised an economy dependent on U.S. financial support and the presence of a large number of U.S. troops. South Vietnam suffered from the global recession that followed the Arab oil embargo.

19

Campaign 275
On 10 March 1975, General Dung launched Campaign 275, a limited offensive into the Central Highlands, supported by tanks and heavy artillery. The target was Buôn Ma Thuột, in Đắk Lắk Province. If the town could be taken, the provincial capital of Pleiku and the road to the coast would be exposed for a planned campaign in 1976. The ARVN proved incapable of resisting the onslaught, and its forces collapsed on 11 March. Once again, Hanoi was surprised by the speed of their success. Dung now urged the Politburo to allow him to seize Pleiku immediately and then turn his attention to Kon Tum. He argued that with two months of good weather remaining until the onset of the monsoon, it would be irresponsible to not take advantage of the situation. President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, a former general, was fearful that his forces would be cut off in the north by the attacking communists; Thieu ordered a retreat. The president declared this to be a "lighten the top and keep the bottom" strategy. But in what appeared to be a repeat of Operation Lam Son 719, the withdrawal soon turned into a bloody rout. While the bulk of ARVN forces attempted to flee, isolated units fought desperately. ARVN General Phu abandoned Pleiku and Kon Tum and retreated toward the coast, in what became known as the "column of tears". As the ARVN tried to disengage from the enemy, refugees mixed in with the line of retreat. The poor condition of roads and bridges, damaged by years of conflict and neglect, slowed Phu's column. As the North Vietnamese forces approached, panic set in. Often abandoned by the officers, the soldiers and civilians were shelled incessantly. The retreat degenerated into a desperate scramble for the coast. By 1 April the "column of tears" was all but annihilated. On 20 March, Thieu reversed himself and ordered Huế, Vietnam's third-largest city, be held at all costs, and then changed his policy several times. Thieu's contradictory orders confused and demoralized his officer corps. As the North Vietnamese launched their attack, panic set in, and ARVN resistance withered. On 22 March, the VPA opened the siege of Huế. Civilians flooded the airport and the docks hoping for any mode of escape. Some even swam out to sea to reach boats and barges anchored offshore. In the confusion, routed ARVN soldiers fired on civilians to make way for their retreat.

North Vietnamese tanks had reached Bien Hoa and turned toward Saigon. surrendered.. large numbers of civilians found that they had no way out. Martial law was declared. unrest. the defense of the Central Highlands and Northern provinces came to an end. severe fighting raged as the ARVN defenders made a last stand to try to block the North Vietnamese advance. Hanoi wished to avoid the coming monsoon and prevent any redeployment of ARVN forces defending the capital. Thousand of refugees streamed southward. brushing aside isolated ARVN units along the way. The operational plan for the Ho Chi Minh Campaign called for the capture of Saigon before 1 May.000 VPA troops were poised to attack the suburbs. 35. President Gerald Ford had given a televised speech on 23 April. embassy compound. as North Vietnamese tanks breached defenses on the outskirts of Saigon. who had succeeded Huong two days earlier. Frequent Wind continued around the clock. U. the Politburo ordered General Dung to launch the final offensive against Saigon. With the fall of the city. ahead of the main communist onslaught. the last U. their morale boosted by their recent victories. Schlesinger announced early in the morning of 29 April 1975 the evacuation from Saigon by helicopter of the last U. At the same time. In a scathing attack.m. Martin pleaded with Washington to dispatch $700 million in emergency aid to bolster the regime and help it mobilize fresh military reserves. 40 miles (64 km) east of Saigon. the ARVN had collapsed on all fronts except in the Mekong Delta. the exhausted garrison were ordered to withdraw towards Saigon.000 leaderless ARVN troops surrendered as the VPA marched victoriously through Da Nang. declaring an end to the Vietnam War and all U. and panic broke out as hysterical South Vietnamese officials and civilians scrambled to leave Saigon. Marines evacuated the embassy by helicopter. military. The North Vietnamese met fierce resistance at Xuan Loc from the ARVN 18th Division. To hasten a collapse and foment panic. Huế fell. taking Nha Trang.S. Frequent Wind was arguably the largest helicopter evacuation in history.S. A tank crashed through the gates of the Independence Palace. as civilians swamped the perimeter and poured into the grounds. By 21 April. three North Vietnamese divisions attacked Xuan Loc. By the end of April. local time the NLF flag was raised above it. North Vietnamese rockets rained down on Da Nang and its airport. With the air exit closed. But American public opinion had soured on this conflict. however. .Vietnam War On 25 March. in an atmosphere of desperation. As resistance in Huế collapsed. he suggested U. and Da Lat. declaring that the United States had betrayed South Vietnam. Cam Ranh. who were outnumbered six to one. In the early morning hours of 30 April. promising military aid that failed to materialise. and civilian personnel. An embittered and tearful President Thieu resigned on the same day. primarily France. By 28 March. rolled on. quickly capturing key buildings and installations. after a three-day battle. Ambassador Graham Martin's belief that Saigon could be held and that a political settlement could be reached. By 30 March 100. Fall of Saigon Chaos. Many of them had been employed by the Americans and were left to their fate.000 North Vietnamese troops encircled Saigon. On 7 April. the VPA shelled the airport and forced its closure. Operation Frequent Wind had been delayed until the last possible moment. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had tricked him into signing the Paris peace agreement two years ago. Having transferred power to Tran Van Huong. President Duong Van Minh. American helicopters began evacuating South Vietnamese.S. aid. On 27 April 100. VPA troops overcame all resistance. It began on 29 April. 20 Final North Vietnamese offensive With the northern half of the country under their control. Northern forces. and foreign nationals from various parts of the city and from the U. and at 11:30 a. South Vietnam was perceived as doomed. His surrender marked the end of 116 years of Vietnamese involvement in conflict either alongside or against various countries.S.000 ARVN troops. because of U. On 30 April 1975. as hysterical crowds of Vietnamese vied for limited space.S. diplomatic.S.S. The city was defended by about 30. he left for Taiwan on 25 April. In the United States. For two bloody weeks.

[194] The Chinese began to withdraw in November 1968 in preparation for a clash with the Soviets. Britain. The Chinese also began financing the Khmer Rouge as a counterweight to the Vietnamese communists at this time. rebuild roads and railroads. because of the early warnings from 1968–1970 they did not kill a single military or civilian leader in the headquarter complexes. which occurred at Zhenbao Island in March 1969. but Hanoi refused. In response. Japan. the Chinese demanded North Vietnam cut relations with Moscow. Their airspeed and direction would be noted and then relayed to COSVN headquarters. Sino-Soviet relations soured after the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia in August 1968. Fewer than a dozen Soviet citizens lost their lives in this conflict. punitive invasion of Vietnam in 1979. Soviet crews fired USSR-made surface-to-air missiles at the B-52 bombers. Vietnam responded with an invasion that toppled the Khmer Rouge. a divided Vietnam posed less of a threat to China.[193] China's ability to aid the Viet Minh declined when Soviet aid to China was reduced following the end of the Korean War in 1953. and America. as well as military advisors led by Luo Guibo to assist the Viet Minh in its war with the French. urged the Viet Minh to accept a partition at the 17th parallel. tanks.[196] The Soviet Union supplied North Vietnam with medical supplies. anti-aircraft missiles and other military equipment. fearing U.[197] Leonid Brezhnev was the leader of the Soviet Union during the second half of the Vietnam War . planes.[192] 21 Other countries' involvement Pro-Hanoi People's Republic of China In 1950. Chinese-supplied rice allowed North Vietnam to pull military-age men from the paddies and to impose a universal draft beginning in 1960. intervention. COSVN using airspeed and direction would calculate the bombing target and tell any assets to move "perpendicularly to the attack trajectory. artillery. helicopters." These advance warning gave them time to move out of the way of the bombers and while the bombing runs caused extensive damage. Soviet Union Soviet ships in the South China Sea gave vital early warnings to NLF forces in South Vietnam. China's withdrawal from Vietnam was completed in July 1970.Vietnam War China. China sent anti-aircraft units and engineering battalions to North Vietnam to repair the damage caused by American bombing. arms. This freed North Vietnamese army units for combat in the South. and to perform other engineering works. Russian officials acknowledged that the Soviet Union had stationed up to 3. In October. China provided material and technical support to the Vietnamese communists worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Mao Zedong agreed to supply Hanoi with 90. In the summer of 1962.000 rifles and guns free of charge. China launched a brief.000 troops in Vietnam during the war. The first draft of the 1954 Geneva Accords was negotiated by French Prime Minister Pierre Mendès France and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai who. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. which were the first raiders shot down over Hanoi.S. Moreover. the People's Republic of China extended diplomatic recognition to the Viet Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam and sent weapons.[195] The Khmer Rouge launched ferocious raids into Vietnam in 1975–1978. Starting in 1965. The Soviet intelligence ships would pick up American B-52 bombers flying from Okinawa and Guam.

 Tiger Division.[202] [203] [204] [205] [206] Witnesses to this include Senator John McCain. in what is known as the "Cuba Program".[211] United States paid South Korean soldiers 235. is still a matter of debate. ammunition and two million sets of uniforms to their comrades in North Vietnam. claim evidence that Cuba's military and non-military involvement may have run into the "thousands" of personnel.500 officers and generals.[211] each serving a one year tour of duty.[212] About 5. under Fidel Castro.[199] In addition.Vietnam War Some Russian sources give more specific numbers: the hardware donated by the USSR included 2. There are numerous reports by former U. In addition.500 soldiers and sergeants of the Soviet Armed Forces.[209] On May 1. Kennedy.[209] The first South Korean troops began arriving in 1964 and large combat battalions began arriving a year later. 1964 Lyndon Johnson requested South Korean participation. 7. Over the course of the war the Soviet money donated to the Vietnamese cause was equal to 2 million dollars a day. North Korea also sent weapons.S.[211] and South Korean GNP increased five times during the war. They stayed through 1968. but Kennedy disagreed. Indeed arguably. Then and since.S. military schools and academies of the USSR began training Vietnamese soldiers — more than 10 thousand people. From July 1965 to the end of 1974. fighting in Vietnam was attended by some 6. South Korea had the second-largest contingent of foreign troops in South Vietnam after the United States.000 artillery guns.000 South Koreans were killed and 11. Maximum troop levels peaked at 50.000 dollars for their service in Vietnam. in early 1967 North Korea sent a fighter squadron to North Vietnam to back up the North Vietnamese 921st and 923rd fighter squadrons defending Hanoi. notably Vietnam War POW/MIA issue advocates. Some. Presidential candidate and former Vietnam prisoner of war. and that they participated in torture activities.000 tanks. South Korea killed 41.[211] . at least two anti-aircraft artillery regiments were sent as well. Park Chung Hee proposed South Korean participation in the war to John F.000 Viet Congs.000 anti-aircraft guns. and White Horse (military) On the anti-communist side. according to his 1999 book Faith of My Fathers.[207] That there was at least a small contingent of Cuban military advisors present in North Vietnam during the war is without question.[200] Kim Il-sung is reported to have told his pilots to "fight in the war as if the Vietnamese sky were their own".000 were injured during the war. In November 1961. as well as more than 4. Blue Dragon (military unit). and 200 pilots were reported to have served.000 in 1968.[198] North Korea As a result of a decision of the Korean Workers' Party in October 1966.560.[208] 22 Pro-Saigon South Korea Further information: Republic of Korea Marine Corps#Vietnam War. however all were withdrawn by 1973. prisoners of war that Cuban military personnel were present at North Vietnamese prison facilities during the war. 2008 U. 158 surface-to-air rocket launchers. with the South Koreans soon developing a reputation for effectiveness.[201] Cuba The extent of manpower contributions to North Vietnam by the communist Republic of Cuba.000 South Korean soldiers were sent to Vietnam. over 5. they conducted counterinsurgency operations so well that American commanders felt that Korean area of responsibility was the safest. the communist Vietnamese and Cuban governments have not divulged any information on this matter.[210] Approximately 320.

Republic of China (Taiwan) Since November 1967. saw action in South Vietnam between 1965 and 1971. close allies of the United States and members of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and the ANZUS military co-operation treaty. losing 37 killed and 187 wounded. Thai forces saw much more action in the covert war in Laos between 1964 and 1972.Vietnam War Australia and New Zealand Australia and New Zealand. Both nations had gained experience in counterinsurgency and jungle warfare during the Malayan Emergency and World War II.[216] Most Australians and New Zealanders served in the 1st Australian Task Force in Phước Tuy province. Australia began by sending advisors to Vietnam in 1962.000 wounded.[213] New Zealand began by sending a detachment of engineers and an artillery battery. and then started sending special forces and regular infantry which were attached to Australian formations.450 Filipino troops were dispatched to South Vietnam. and combat troops were committed in 1965.[217] Military commandos from Taiwan were captured by communist forces three times trying to infiltrate North Vietnam. who carried out reconnaissance activities on the western side of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. More than 60. Thailand Thai Army formations.[214] Australia's peak commitment was 7. These forces operated under the designation PHLCAG-V or Philippine Civic Action Group-Vietnam.000 Australian personnel were involved during the course of the An Australian soldier in Vietnam war. the Republic of China (Taiwan) secretly operated a cargo transport detachment to assist the United States and the ROV. Taiwan also provided military training units for the South Vietnamese diving units. though Thai regular formations there were heavily outnumbered by the irregular "volunteers" of the CIA-sponsored Police Aerial Reconnaissance Units or PARU.[217] In addition to the diving trainers there were several hundred military personnel. of which 521 were killed and more than 3.000 New Zealanders served in Vietnam.672 combat troops and New Zealand's 552.[213] Philippines Some 10. They were primarily engaged in medical and other civilian pacification projects. later known as the Lien Doi Nguoi Nhai (LDMN) or Frogman unit in English.[215] Approximately 3. including the "Queen's Cobra" battalion. sent ground troops to Vietnam. Their governments subscribed to the Domino theory.[217] 23 .

The women who served in the military were solely volunteers.[218] Officially. Many Americans either considered female in Vietnam mannish for living under the army discipline. six days per week and often suffered from exhaustion. nurses usually worked twelve-hour shifts. Victor Levant suggested otherwise in his book "Quiet Complicity: Canadian Involvement in the Vietnam War" (1986). they were never allowed directly in the field of battle. First Lieutenant Sharon Lane was the only female military nurse to be killed by enemy gunfire during the war on June 8.[225] Although this was not the women’s purpose. Although female military nurses lived in a heavily male environment. one of which was the relatively small number of female soldiers. India and Poland constituted the International Control Commission. Their traditional place had been in the domestic sphere. By 1973.[219] [220] Women in Vietnam American nurses During the Vietnam War. it was commonly thought that American women had no place in the military. 1969.[227] To address this problem. an intensive effort to recruit nurses to serve in Vietnam.500 women had served in Vietnam in the Southeast Asian theater. 1968 being deployed to Vietnam in the ANC [222] Due to the shortage of staff. the ANC released advertisements portraying women in the ANC as “proper. the Army Nurse Corps (ANC) launched Operation Nightingale. Canada did not have partisan involvement in the Vietnam War and diplomatically it was "non-belligerent". In Vietnam. the military lifted the prohibition on women entering the armed forces. approximately 7. which was supposed to monitor the 1954 ceasefire agreement. .[221] Because the need for medical aid was great. women served on active duty doing a variety of jobs. The majority of these women were white Catholics and Protestants. They faced a plethora of challenges. While this high male to female ratio was often uncomfortable for women. professional and well protected. it was one positive result of the their service. many men reported that having women in the field with them boosted their morale. women held a variety of jobs which included operating complex data processing equipment and serving as stenographers. Early in 1963. very few cases of sexual harassment were ever reported.Vietnam War 24 Canada and the ICC Canada.” (26) This effort to highlight the positive aspects of a nursing career reflected the ideas of second-wave feminism that occurred during the 1960s-1970s in the United States. South Vietnam. Most nurses who volunteered to serve in Vietnam came from predominantly working or middle class families with histories of military service.[228] In 2008.[224] Although a small number of women were assigned to combat zones.[223] At the start of the Vietnam War. many nurses underwent a concentrated four-month training program before Da Nang. by contrast.[226] In that same year. American women serving in Vietnam were subject to societal stereotypes. approximately one-third of women in the military felt that they had been sexually harassed compared with one-third of men. or judged them to be women of questionable moral character who enlisted for the sole purpose of seducing men. Living in a male-dominated environment created tensions between the sexes. but with the war came opportunity for the expansion of gender roles.

the highest ranking combat position held by a woman during the war. they also worked in the rice fields to provide food for their families and the war effort.S.[236] [237] With its 17-mile (27 km) range. Artillery was used extensively by both sides but the Americans were able to ferry the lightweight 105mm M102 howitzer by helicopter to remote locations on quick notice.[229] Nguyen Thi Duc Hoan.[239] The Vietnam War was the first conflict that saw wide scale tactical deployment of helicopters. who would later go on to be an actress-director.[230] Weapons Communist forces were principally armed with Chinese[231] and Soviet weaponry[232] though some Viet Cong guerrilla units were equipped with Western infantry weapons either captured from French stocks during the first Indochina war or from ARVN units or requisitioned through illicit purchase. the Soviet 130mm M-46 towed field gun was a highly regarded weapon and used to good effect by the NVA. The M67A1 flamethrower tank (nicknamed the Zippo) was an M48 variant used in Vietnam. Offshore naval fire played a pivotal role in the Battle for the city of Hue.S. the "Huey" as it became affectionately known. It was countered by the long-range.[234] According to a congressional report. soldier carries a M67 recoilless rifle past a spent cartridge case remained lodged in the chamber after a bullet flew burning Viet Cong base camp in My Tho. which replaced the M14. counter-offensive to retake the city.S. was outfitted with a variety of armaments including M60 machineguns. Women were enlisted in both the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the VietCong guerrilla force in South Vietnam. the U. U.62mm Gatling guns and . also joined the fight at a young age and would later become a guerrilla fighter against the Americans. Oftentimes the gun suffered from a jamming flaw known as “failure to extract.[237] In the latter role. They played an important role in infantry support though there were few actual tank versus tank battles. South Vietnam. She was a member of the Vietminh fighting against the French and was imprisoned in the 1940s but on her release continued to fight and led a revolt in 1945 in Ben Tre and also in 1960 against Diems government. Navy had the run of the coastline. air power was credited with breaking the siege of Khe Sanh and blunting the 1972 Communist offensive against South Vietnam. The American M16.[240] The Bell UH-1 Iroquois was used extensively in counter-guerilla operations both as a troop carrier and a gunship. 90mm M48A3 Patton tank tank saw extensive action during the Vietnam War and over 600 were deployed with US Forces.” which meant that a U.S. using aircraft carriers as platforms for offshore strikes and other naval vessels for offshore artillery support. the jamming was caused primarily by a change in gunpowder which was done without adequate testing and reflected a decision for which the safety of soldiers was a secondary consideration.[238] The United States had air superiority though many aircraft were lost to surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery. providing accurate fire in support of the U. American 175mm M107 Self-Propelled Gun. Nguyen Thi Dinh was an example of a woman who had fought most of her adult life against foreign forces in her country. she became a deputy commander of the Viet Cong. 1968 out the muzzle.[233] The ubiquitous Soviet AK-47 was widely regarded as the best assault rifle of the war and it was not uncommon to see U. multi-barreled 7. In the mid 1960s.S. at the time her own daughter was training in the militia.[235] The heavily armored. special forces with captured AK-47s. Vietnamese women fought in the combat zone as well as provided manual labor to keep the Ho Chi Minh Trail open. was considered more accurate and was lighter than the AK-47 but was prone to jamming. At sea.Vietnam War 25 Vietnamese women Unlike the American women who went to Vietnam.

BTR-50. Owen Gun (ADF) AIM-9 Sidewinder. M50 Ontos. In response. B-57 Canberra (RAAF).5mm models engaging ground targets)[241] 1. fell to followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. AGM-62 Walleye. A-6 Intruder. CH-53. twin 57mm. commonly known as the Khmer Rouge. Mi-8 AAW SA-3 Goa. the United States resettled some 250. AGM-78 Standard ARM. M79 grenade launcher. T-55. or more than a million people. DShK HMG. and M40 recoilless rifle. including 130. F-4 Phantom II. F-105 Thunderchief.[237] Type AFVs North Vietnam. M16. & ARVN) CH-47 Chinook. & ARVN) Douglas A-1 Skyraider (U. Strela 2. the Khmer Rouge enacted a genocidal policy that killed over one-fifth of all Cambodians. some 450. LAW. CH-54 Skycrane Artillery Aircraft MiG-21.S. and PT-76 tanks. M60 machine gun. F-100 Super Sabre. M41 Walker Bulldog (ARVN). SKS. Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. Bell UH-1 Iroquois. Laser-guided bombs. Douglas AC-47 Spooky. Lockheed AC-130.[237] The Hueys were also successfully used in MEDEVAC and search and rescue roles.[243] After repeated border clashes in 1978. M551 Sheridan. M18 Claymore anti-personnel mines. Zuni rocket IEDs [242] BLU-82 Daisy Cutter. MiG-17 Helicopters Mi-6. on 17 April 1975. AK-47. the capital of Cambodia.000 Hmong. South Vietnam.[244] The Pathet Lao overthrew the royalist government of Laos in December 1975. BTR-152. M114 155 mm howitzer A-4 Skyhawk.2 and 4 (numbers corresponding to single.000 Lao refugees from Thailand. known as the Third Indochina War or the Sino-Vietnamese War. L1A1 SLR (ADF). M2 Browning. Centurion (Australian Army). M1954 field gun M109 self-propelled howitzer. AGM-12 Bullpup. Bell AH-1 Cobra. M102 105mm howitzer. China invaded Vietnam in 1979.[246] .. M55 Quad 50 (dual use weapon for AA as well as for 37mm. RPD. TOW. M107 Self-Propelled Gun. From 1978 to 1979. ZPU 14. T-54. MiG-19. double and quad barreled variants) MAT-49. Over the next four years. ZSU-57-2. M110 self-propelled howitzer. Viet Cong T-34/85.[245] From 1975 to 1996. BTR-60 APC's & BMP M113 1 IFV's M1937 Howitzer. The two countries fought a brief border war. Napalm Aftermath Events in Southeast Asia Phnom Penh. M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle. They established the Lao People's Democratic Republic. M1939 (61-K) MIM-23 Hawk. Australia M48A3 Patton tank. A-37 Dragonfly (U. AIM-7 Sparrow Infantry weapons Air-to-Air Missiles Air-to-Surface Missiles Specialized weapons AGM-45 Shrike anti radiation missile. A-7 Corsair. Vietnam invaded Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia) and ousted the Khmer Rouge in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War. D-30 (2A18) Howitzer. SA-2 Guideline. RPK.S. BM-21.000 ethnic Chinese left Vietnam by boat as refugees or were expelled across the land border with China. B-10 recoilless rifle and B-11 recoilless rifle Vympel K-13 M14.Vietnam War unguided air-to-surface rockets. RPG-7. V-100 Commando (Army Military Police / USAF Security Police) 26 APCs/IFVs BTR-40.S. U. RPG-2.

the 1967 official history of the United States Army noted that "tactics have often seemed to exist apart from larger issues.S.4 million refugees from Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries have been resettled to the United States. So.S.. Secondly. Even the Special Forces who had been designed for it could not prevail. They during the Marine landing. and objectives."[257] Even General William Westmoreland admitted that the bombing had been ineffective. it was that air power couldn't do the job..Vietnam War.[250] As General Maxwell Taylor. As he remarked.."[254] U."[255] Even Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara concluded that "the achievement of a military victory by U.. but this was a different country. As Army Chief of Staff Harold Keith Johnson noted."[251] [252] Some have suggested that "the responsibility for the ultimate failure of this policy [America's withdrawal from Vietnam] lies not with the men Vietnam War protests at the Pentagon. had defeated the French. and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of allies. Most Asian countries were unwilling to accept refugees."[256] Doubts surfaced as to the effectiveness of large-scale. Australia. "You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours. but with those in Congress.000. We thought that we were going into another Korean War.. "if anything came out of Vietnam.[247] Since 1975. Yet in Vietnam the Army experienced tactical success and strategic failure."[257] The inability to bomb Hanoi to the bargaining table also illustrated another U. It's very dangerous."[258] .legacy may be the lesson that unique historical. until we know the enemy and know our allies and know ourselves. forces in Vietnam was indeed a dangerous illusion. miscalculation. we'd better keep out of this kind of dirty business.[249] 27 Effect on the United States In the post-war era.. The. political. we cannot help draw the conclusion that our armed forces are not suited to this kind of war.Success rests not only on military progress but on correctly analyzing the nature of the particular conflict. and Cambodia. "I still doubt that the North Vietnamese would have relented. and social factors always impinge on the military. we didn't know ourselves. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger wrote in a secret memo to President Gerald Ford that "in terms of military tactics.Vietnam War More than 3 million people fled from Vietnam.. The North's leadership was composed of hardened A young Marine private waits on the beach communists who had been fighting for independence for thirty years. Americans struggled to absorb the lessons of the military intervention. Who was Ho Chi Minh? Nobody really knew. A new humility and a new sophistication may form the best parts of a complex heritage left to the Army by the long... October who fought. one of the principal architects of the war. sustained bombing. an estimated 1. 1965.. Ho Chi Minh is quoted as saying. Da Nang August 3. many as "boat people". and France resettled over 500.. understanding the enemy's strategy. and their tenacity as both nationalists and communists was formidable.. cultural. strategies.. And we knew less about North Vietnam.. bitter war in Vietnam. Laos.But even at these odds you will lose and I will win.[248] while Canada. noted "first.S."[253] Alternatively. we didn't know our South Vietnamese allies.

These chemicals continue to change the landscape.S.000 Vietnam veterans suffered symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. where the U.S.5 percent were black and the remainder from other races. military effort in Southeast Asia was the widespread use of chemical defoliants between 1961 and 1971. Corporations like Dow Chemical Company and Monsanto were given the task of developing herbicides for this purpose.000 were considered combat troops. 12. persisted for many years after the war's conclusion. Army doctrine. Agent White. "Sixty-one percent of those killed were age 21 or younger. Marine Corps General Victor H. United States President Jimmy Carter granted a full. Navy patrol boats were vulnerable to attack from the undergrowth at the water's edge. but ended in 1973.S.3 percent were white. a useful first step might be to defoliate certain areas. More than 3 million Americans served in the Vietnam War.[264] Approximately 830.. Agent Purple. but only 80." By war's end.000 American servicemen deserted. and.[268] Early in the American military effort it was decided that since the enemy were hiding their activities under triple-canopy jungle. Agent Orange.[267] The Vietnam War POW/MIA issue. Between 1965 and 1975.220 soldiers were killed.Vietnam War 28 The Vietnam War called into question the U. and poison the food chain. Krulak heavily criticised Westmoreland's attrition strategy. complete and unconditional pardon to all Vietnam-era Draft dodgers.000 American military personnel in Vietnam.[262] According to Dale Kueter. Agent Blue. Of those killed in combat.[] more than 150.000 Americans fled to Canada to avoid the Vietnam draft.[266] In 1977.. An estimated 125. who had falsified his birth certificate and enlisted in the US Marines at age 14 and who was killed in combat at age 15. 86. 2/5 Marine gets his wounds treated during Chemical defoliation One of the most controversial aspects of the U. They were used to defoliate large parts of the countryside. concerning the fate of U."[261] Conscription in the United States had been controlled by the President since World War II. . This was especially true of growth surrounding bases (both large and small) in what became known as Operation Ranch Hand. service personnel listed as missing in action."[263] The youngest American KIA in the war was PFC Dan Bullock.000. The defoliants. About 12 million gallons (45. 58. most famously. some 1. and at least 21. cause diseases and birth defects. for example. Westheider wrote that "At the height of American involvement in 1968.5 operations in Hue City. the United States spent $111 billion on the war ($686 billion in FY2008 dollars). there were 543."[257] As well.000 were wounded. included the "Rainbow Herbicides"—Agent Pink. A prime area of Ranch Hand operations was in the Mekong Delta.000 were permanently disabled. doubts surfaced about the ability of the military to train foreign forces.[260] James E. with small likelihood of a successful outcome. which included dioxin as a by-product of its manufacture. 1968 million of whom actually saw combat in Vietnam. Agent Green.S.000 L) of Agent Orange were sprayed over Southeast Asia during the American involvement.[265] and approximately 50. calling it "wasteful of American lives. which were distributed in drums marked with color-coded bands.[259] This resulted in a large federal budget deficit.

and spina bifida in children of veterans exposed to Agent Orange. In 1965. suffered 1. B-cell lymphomas. Trinh Cong Son was a South Vietnamese songwriter famous for his anti-war songs.000 and 250. video games. chloracne. porphyria cutanea tarda.000 wounded during Hanoi's conflict with the United States. The war also influenced a generation of musicians and songwriters in Vietnam and the United States. military has estimated that between 200. In some areas of southern Vietnam dioxin levels remain at over 100 times the accepted international standard. In 1995. Diabetes mellitus type 2. Casualties The number of military and civilian deaths from 1955 to 1975 is debated. South Vietnam The U. the Vietnamese government estimates that there are over 4.Vietnam War 29 In 1961 and 1962. respiratory cancers. and it became one of the most influential anti-Vietnam protest anthems.000. although the United States government denies any conclusive scientific links between Agent Orange and the Vietnamese victims of dioxin poisoning. multiple myeloma. the Vietnamese government reported that its military forces.1 million dead and 600.[270] U.[273] The U.[269] As of 2006. thousands of Laotian and Thai irregulars.[274] Popular culture The Vietnam War has been featured heavily in television.000 victims of dioxin poisoning in Vietnam. They do not include the tens of thousands of Cambodians killed during the civil war or the estimated one and one-half to two million that perished in the genocide that followed Khmer Rouge victory.S.S. gallons (75. 42% of all herbicide was sprayed over food crops.000. or the fate of Laotian Royals and civilians after the Pathet Lao assumed complete power in Laos. since exposure to them did not lead to immediate death or incapacitation. peripheral neuropathy.S.000[272] to 182. and economic reparations were demanded. or Laotian civilians who all perished in the conflict. and literature in the participant countries. affecting an estimated 13% of South Vietnam's land.700.000 South Vietnamese soldiers died in the war. Air Force sprayed 20 million U. or the Royal Lao Armed Forces.S. film. The band Country Joe and the Fish recorded "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag" / The "Fish" Cheer in 1965. Although there has been much discussion over whether the use of these defoliants constituted a violation of the laws of war.[271] Estimates of civilian deaths caused by American bombing in Operation Rolling Thunder range from 52. Between 1961 and 1967. both anti-war and pro/anti-communist. soft-tissue sarcoma. . Another purpose of herbicide use was to drive civilian populations into RVN-controlled areas. including the NLF. Veterans Administration has listed prostate cancer. Hanoi concealed the figures during the war to avoid demoralizing the population.000 km2) of crops and trees. the defoliants were not considered weapons.S. helicopter spraying chemical defoliants in the Mekong Delta. the U. Some reports fail to include the members of South Vietnamese forces killed in the final campaign.000 L) of concentrated herbicides over 6 million acres (24. the Kennedy administration authorized the use of chemicals to destroy rice crops. Civilian deaths were put at two million in the North and South.

google. estimates 20.DoD 1998 U. 29 October 2009. .000 Hmong. (Boston: Beacon Press. Vietnam Conflict. as the start date. as War Against the Americans to Save the Nation. com/ books?id=MauWlUjuWNsC). began a process of coming to terms with defeat in its longest and most controversial war" [4] Digital History.Lawrence 2009. org/ facts/ id430. & Issues:: The American / Viet Nam War" (http:/ / www. only to be revived by the ICP and Ho Chi Minh in 1941. 520 (http:/ / books. estimates 35. This organisation soon lapsed into inactivity. Keely. Martin's Press. 2008. Reed and Charles B.000 total. Ho Chi Minh: . [3] "Vietnam War" (http:/ / www. the United Nations and the International Community. Laos. December 1995. Jonathan The American War. Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) in Indochina (deployed to Southeast Asia under President Truman) was reorganized into country-specific units and MAAG Vietnam was established. The Indochinese experience of the French and the Americans: nationalism and communism in Cambodia. D. Demographics. [11] Banister. International Relations Department. Retrieved 28 April 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica. [12] Warner. [16] Taylor. its military demoralized and its civilian electorate deeply divided. "The Vietnam War" (http:/ / www. shtml). 3. led by Nguyễn Thái Học. Steven Mintz. Retrieved 2011-10-31. [18] Moore. uh. ed. com/ books?id=QQ_nS6pTlDgC). .000 total.000 total. Martin. estimates 60. 22 (http:/ / books. Where the Domino Fell: America and Vietnam. [7] Charles Hirschman et al. edu/ modules/ vietnam/ index. [19] "Asian-Nation: Asian American History. cfm). [25] The Việt Nam Ðộc Lập Ðồng Minh Hội had previously formed in Nanjing. ISBN 9788189611125.edu. pp. com. government reports currently cite 1 November 1955 as the commencement date of the “Vietnam Conflict. The World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators.uh. Retrieved 18 August 2008. 2001. [13] Obermeyer.Vietnam War 30 Annotations [1] Also known as the Second Indochina War. [10] Marek Sliwinski. vnagency." In Genocide and Democracy in Cambodia: The Khmer Rouge. "Meanwhile. Social Science (http:/ / books. com. 457. 314–346. Holly E. html). Origins of the Insurgency in South Vietnam. 461 ff.: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies. estimates 200. p. p. [14] T. google. Keat Gin.com. Chapter 5. htm).” for this was the day when the U. ABC-CLIO.vn. estimates 20. com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 628478/ Vietnam-War). ISBN 9781576077702. com/ books?id=CxtJ56I2cjMC& pg=PA20) Other start dates include when Hanoi authorized Viet Cong forces in South Vietnam to begin a low-level insurgency in December 1956. "The Demographic Analysis of Mortality in Cambodia. Lajpat. 1995). Resort to Arms: International and Civil Wars 1816-1980. China. com. Vietnamnews.1 Million Died Fighting For North. digitalhistory. 1945–1990. New Haven. the United States. "The Viet Nam War is also called 'The American War' by the Vietnamese" [20] Ooi. Fitzgibbon's family the start date of the Vietnam War was changed to 1 November 1955. . Digitalhistory.S. google.Sophie Quinn-Judge (2003). (1982). mtholyoke. edu/ acad/ intrel/ pentagon/ pent14. [5] Vietnam War Statistics and Facts 1 (http:/ / 25thaviation. vn/ Social-Isssues/ 193440/ Two-250kg-wartime-bombs-defused. Mount Holyoke College. ISBN 9780253338549. com. p. "Fifty years of violent war deaths from Vietnam to Bosnia". 1995. eds. estimates 30. p. and some members of the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP) and a number of other Vietnamese nationalist parties formed an anti-imperialist united front. britannica. google. Jonathan The American War. Indiana University Press. . [23] Neale.. Le Génocide Khmer Rouge: Une Analyse Démographique (L’Harmattan. [2] Due to the early presence of American troops in Vietnam the start date of the Vietnam War is a grey zone. Ben Kiernan. 1971). Patrick (2001). April 3. asian-nation. Arthur J. pp366. 57).: National Academy Press. or Việt Quốc). 1954–1960 (http:/ / www. and Vietnam (http:/ / books. whereas some view 26 September 1959 when the first battle occurred between the Communist and South Vietnamese army. FK Publications. [22] Dommen. [8] Associated Press. From People's War to People's Rule. htm). Melvin & Joel David Singer. [17] Stuart-Fox." In Forced Migration and Mortality. pp. 2004. Charles Lewis. [15] Small. American War in Vietnam and. [21] Rai. p. Roger. Judith. ph/ books?id=QQ_nS6pTlDgC& pg=PA22). and Paige Johnson (1993). Retrieved 5 March 2008.000 by 1973. Lomperis. Section 3. A History of Laos. Southeast Asia: a historical encyclopedia. ISBN 1-898876-67-3. British Medical Journal.  20 (http:/ / books. 17. ph/ books?id=QKgraWbb7yoC& pg=PA520).S. [24] Neale. “Vietnamese Casualties During the American War: A New Estimate. Washington. G and Joseph L. ISBN 1-898876-67-3. "After the Nightmare: The Population of Cambodia. google. In 1998 after a high level review by the Department of Defense (DoD) and through the efforts of Richard B. "Vietnam Says 1. from Angkor Wat to East Timor (http:/ / books. google. at some point between August 1935 and early 1936 when the non-communist Vietnamese Nationalist Party (Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng. Galloway We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam (p. com/ books?id=QKgraWbb7yoC). [6] Kolko. (1996)." [9] Heuveline.. Harold. 67 (New York: St. 4–19 (http:/ / books. org/ vietnam-war. (1996). ISBN 1-898876-67-3. Volume 1. 1991). google.C. Gabriel Anatomy of War. ph/ books?id=MauWlUjuWNsC& pg=PA4). in Vietnam. "Official news source use of the name" (http:/ / vietnamnews. Shooting at the Moon. Conn.vnagency.. The Pentagon Papers (Gravel Edition). p.000 total. p.” Population and Development Review.James Olson and Randy Roberts. 25th Aviation Batallion website.

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CIA World Factbook • Kolko. "Vietnam Declaration of Independence". • Sorley. Bernard. • Osborn. presidents. Mandate for Change. reference set.google. very broad coverage of 1968. John. Walking Point: American Narratives of Vietnam (1988) • Public Papers of the Presidents. Mission with LeMay (1965) autobiography of controversial former Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force • Kissinger. B.counterpunch. ISBN 0811700712. Shelby L.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/la. Was Kennedy Planning to Pull out of Vietnam? (1964) oral history for the John F. Presidio press (1982). The future of foreign language education in the United States (2002 ed. (December 2005) "CJO – Abstract – China's 1979 War with Vietnam: A Reassessment" (http://journals.gov/pardon/carter_proclamation. "China's 1979 War With Vietnam: A Reassessment".com/books?id=X5WWklFB5O4C). • Stanton. narrative military history by a senior U. Lewis. Kennedy Library. Retrieved 11 June 2008. • Palmer. and Kantor. Chi Minh. 4 August 1964 To 28 March 1973 (21 January 1977) • Central Intelligence Agency. Thomas. The Tet Offensive: Intelligence Failure in War (1991).google.). In the Combat Zone: An Oral History of American Women in Vietnam. Bruce. Stackpole Books. Terry A. . 184.S. General Curtis E. Kathryn. A Time for War: The United States and Vietnam.Vietnam War • Major General Spurgeon Neel. O'Connell. Harry G.htm) • Kim A. China Quarterly. "Lessons on Vietnam". 30 Years Later (http://www. • Witz. • Schell. By The President Of The United States Of America. John Bartlow. A Proclamation Granting Pardon For Violations Of The Selective Service Act (http://www. Zhang.org/kolko04292005.ford. html) • Eisenhower.). html#history)". President Ford (http://www. ISBN 9780897897198. 1941–1975 (1997). Army in Vietnam 1965–1970 (Department of the Army 1991) official medical history • Nulty. Jr. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780816071029. Jonathan.edu/library/exhibits/vietnam/750512a. Selected Works.S.S. Gabriel The End of the Vietnam War. • Xiaoming. (1991). Ronald. MacKinlay. 39 Primary sources • Carter. (2003). (2009). Dwight D.utexas. A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam (1999). reel 1. • Myers.The Vietnam War (1998) New York: Barnes and Noble. ISBN 0-89141-563-7 (225 pages) • Tucker. • Willbanks. 1966–1975 (1987) • Martin. based upon still classified tape-recorded meetings of top level US commanders in Vietnam. ed. also one-volume abridgement (2001). (1960–1962) selected writings • LeMay.cia. James H. • Schulzinger. Jimmy. Medical Support of the U. James J. ed. tape V. • Young.S. Infobase Publishing. United States Secretary of State Henry A. Vietnam order of battle (2003 ed. Issue no. Spencer. (1963) a presidential political memoir • Ho. (2002). Vietnam War almanac (http://books.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=358806). After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in Vietnam (1992).htm). Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War (1998) 3 vol. " Laos (https://www. Marilyn. 1965 (1966) official documents of U. general. Robert D. Primary Source Accounts of the Vietnam War (2006) • McCain. • Summers. On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War (http://books. cambridge. ISBN 0-15-601309-6 • Spector. The Twenty-Five Year War (1984). The Vietnam Wars: 1945–1990.usdoj. The Time of Illusion (1976). Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir (1999) *Marshall. (1975) secret memoranda to U.com/ books?id=-Z4l-ZySVWwC).

advisor to the ARVN 7th Division.” Historical Journal 52 (Sept.gov/www/about_state/history/vol_i/index. David Chanoff. Washington. • U. and photos • Documents Relating to American Foreign Policy-Vietnam (http://www.php?id=63) • Battlefield Vietnam (http://www. ISBN 9780151936366.com/kia_tbl. htm) primary sources on U. Van Toai Doan (1985).edu/sixties/ HTML_docs/Resources/Glossary/Sixties_Term_Gloss_K_P.org/battlefieldvietnam/history/index. Như Tảng.cdmhost.com (http://www.html). ed.html). Army. “Scholarly Battles over the Vietnam War.html) • History of US Interventions (http://www. 40 Historiography • Hall. Mitchell • Impressions of Vietnam and descriptions of the daily life of a soldier from the oral history of Elliott Gardner.mtholyoke.C. vs NVA/VC (http://www.mtholyoke. 12 volumes. involvement • The Effects of Vietnamization on the Republic of Vietnam's Armed Forces.Vietnam War • Schlesinger. excerpts (http://www.state.org/project.ccsu.gov/www/about_state/history/ vol_iv/index. Jr. 813–29. 1945–1967. Wallace. americanethnography. by Derek. Department of State. Department of Defense and the House Committee on Armed Services.).edu/acad/intrel/vietnam.com/article.S. DFC. Foreign Relations of the United States (multivolume collection of official secret documents) vol 1: 1964 (http://www. U. Department of Defense and the House Committee on Armed Services.iath.Total pages: 350 • The landmark series Vietnam: A Television History. D. 1971. External links • Fallout of the War (http://cdm164001. combination of narrative and secret documents compiled by Pentagon. Prince Norodom.virginia. maps.S.mtholyoke. • Vann. A Vietcong Memoir (1985). vol 4: 1966 (http://www. 5 vol 1971)." Foreign Affairs.html) • Complete text of the Gravel Edition of the Pentagon Papers (http://www.edu/acad/intrel/pentagon/ pent1.S.com/krogh/item_viewer.S.html). • The Pentagon Papers (Gravel ed.com/krogh/) • American Ethnography – On collecting engraved Zippos from the Vietnam War (http://www. first broadcast in 1983.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.gov/ www/about_state/history/vol_ii/index. Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans (1984) • Truong.edu/acad/intrel/pentagon/pent1.library.html) • U. is a special presentation of the award-winning PBS history series.-Vietnam Relations.answers. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich..com/topix/john-paul-vann-44k) Lt.S. 1969–1972 (http://www. A Vietcong memoir (1985 ed. early critic of the conduct of the war.aspx) • Glossary of Military Terms & Slang from the Vietnam War (http://www2.state. Arthur M. revealing account by senior NLF official • Terry. vol 2: 1965 (http://www. Colonel.pbs. Simon.historycommons. Truong Nhu. American Experience. 2009).php?CISOROOT=/p164001coll21& CISOPTR=116&CISOBOX=1&REC=1) from the Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives (http:// cdm164001.S.jsp?project=US_interventions_project).cdmhost. U. U. (1958) describes the geopolitical situation of Cambodia • Tang.S. vol 3: 1965 (http://www. DSC.html).html) PBS interactive site • Casualties – U.com/vietnam/vietnamization/default.state. Army (http://content. "Cambodia Neutral: The Dictates of Necessity.state. militaryhistoryonline. Robert Kennedy and His Times. John Paul Quotes from Answers.rjsmith.php?CISOROOT=/VHP&CISOPTR=5558& CISOBOX=1&REC=1) . (1978) a first-hand account of the Kennedy administration by one of his principal advisors • Sinhanouk.gov/www/about_state/history/vol_ii/index.html) with supporting documents.

ibiblio.gisearch.com/) • Vietnam War Bibliography (http://tigger.html) covers online and published resources • The Vietnam War (http://www.gettysburg.edu/virtualarchive/) – Texas Tech University • War. propaganda.historycommons. • Stephen H.edu/~rjensen/vietnam.globalissues.uic. vietfederation.ttu. Army in Vietnam (http://www. Myth and Reality (http://www.pbs.history.vietnam.org/article/402/ media-propaganda-and-vietnam) 41 .org/pub/academic/history/marshall/military/vietnam/short.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/timeline/) comprehensive timeline of the Vietnam War • Virtual Vietnam Archive (http://www.com/topics/vietnam-war) at The History Channel • Vietnam war timeline (http://www. berkeley.Vietnam War • Sober thoughts on 30 April : The South Vietnam Liberation Front and Hanoi.ca/30-4-00/TonThatThien.htm) Speech by the former Minister of Information of the Republic of Vietnam. history/chap_28.jsp?timeline=vietnam) in Open-Content project • The U.org/timeline.dot) • Timeline US – Vietnam (1947–2001) (http://www. and the media: Vietnam (http://www.txt) the official history of the United States Army • UC Berkeley Library Social Activism Sound Recording Project: Anti-Vietnam War Protests (http://www. last name and location (http://www. Warner Southeast Asia Photograph Collection at Gettysburg College (http://www.edu/MRC/pacificaviet/) • Vietnam Casualties database searchable by first name.lib.S.edu/ special_collections/collections/manuscripts/collections/ms044.

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SteveSims Image:93 us house membership.. .php?title=File:US_riverboat_using_napalm_in_Vietnam.S military photographer File:Defoliation agent spraying. Deror avi.. Takabeg File:OperationHueCity1967wounded.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Original uploader was Nick Dowling at en.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Ronald L.NARA .php?title=File:Da_Nang. Infrogmation..php?title=File:OperationHueCity1967wounded.0  Contributors: Kohls. Photographer License Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Undetermined U.jpg  License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3. Thierry Caro Image:Pentagon vietnam protests.wikipedia. DanMS.org/w/index.wikipedia.php?title=File:Leonid_Brežněv_(Bundesarchiv). KTo288.org/w/index. Wst.wikipedia. Clindberg.org/w/index.php?title=File:Dead_man_and_child_from_the_My_Lai_massacre.php?title=File:ElectoralCollege1972. Licenses and Contributors File:US riverboat using napalm in Vietnam.wikipedia.svg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Citypeek. Dragfyre. 1 anonymous edits File:Dead man and child from the My Lai massacre.php?title=File:Pentagon_vietnam_protests.jpg  Source: http://en.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Berrucomons. Nguyễn Thanh Quang. Minnesota .United_States_Navy_nurse_Lieutenant_Commander_Joan_Brouilette_checks_the_condition_of_Pfc. Darwinek.php?title=File:93_us_house_membership._St_Paul.as. Oxam Hartog. Ulrich.tif  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Cobatfor File:My Tho..jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Aude. Edub.wikipedia. A Viet Cong base camp being.jpg  Source: http://en. Pibwl.jpg  Source: http://en. Homo lupus.php?title=File:Defoliation_agent_spraying. SPC5.org/w/index.wikipedia.org/w/index.wikipedia 44 File:Da Nang.tif  Source: http://en. Diliff.org/w/index._South_Vietnam.org/w/index..org/w/index.wikipedia.jpg  Source: http://en. FieldMarine. Gryffindor.wikipedia.wikipedia.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Brian K.._A_Viet_Cong_base_camp_being._Vietnam. Vietnam.jpg  Source: http://en.530621 edit.org/w/index.._In_the_foreground_is_Private_First_Class_Raymond_Rumpa.org/w/index. Matt314.NARA . extracted by Fredy._Minnesota_-_NARA_-_530621_edit.png  Source: http://en. Grigsby. South Vietnam.jpg  Source: http://en. Zzyzx11 File:Marine da nang. Jebulon.org/w/index.png  License: Public Domain  Contributors: User:Willhsmit File:Leonid Brežněv (Bundesarchiv).. Haeberle Image:ElectoralCollege1972._-_NARA_-_558531. Deror avi.United States Navy nurse Lieutenant Commander Joan Brouilette checks the condition of Pfc.wikipedia. BrokenSphere.org/licenses/by-sa/3. Like tears in rain. In the foreground is Private First Class Raymond Rumpa.Image Sources.jpg  Source: http://en. St Paul.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: BLueFiSH.jpg  Source: http://en.php?title=File:My_Tho.php?title=File:Marine_da_nang.00 File:RAR Vietnam. RingtailedFox.558531.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: BrokenSphere. Starscream.wikipedia..org/w/index.wikipedia. Peter Weis.0/ .svg  Source: http://en.0 Unported //creativecommons. Bukvoed.php?title=File:RAR_Vietnam.jpg  Source: http://en. Cnyborg..